Aids

Cancer leaves a common fingerprint on DNA

Regardless of their stage or type, cancers appear to share a telltale signature of widespread changes to the so-called epigenome, according to a team of researchers. In a study published online in Genome Me ...

Aug 25, 2014
popularity 4.9 / 5 (16) | comments 1

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The illness interferes with the immune system making people with AIDS much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumors that do not affect people with working immune systems. This susceptibility gets worse as the disease continues.

HIV is transmitted in many ways, such as anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. It can be transmitted by any contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid that has the virus in it, such as the blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, or breast milk from an infected person.

The virus and disease are often referred to together as HIV/AIDS. The disease is a major health problem in many parts of the world, and is considered a pandemic, a disease outbreak that is not only present over a large area but is actively spreading. In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there are 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.7 million new HIV infections per year and 2.0 million annual deaths due to AIDS. In 2007, UNAIDS estimated: 33.2 million people worldwide were HIV positive; AIDS killed 2.1 million people in the course of that year, including 330,000 children, and 76% of those deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNAIDS 2009 report, worldwide some 60 million people have been infected since the start of the pandemic, with some 25 million deaths, and 14 million orphaned children in southern Africa alone.

Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS was first recognized by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981 and its cause, HIV, identified in the early 1980s.

Although treatments for HIV/AIDS can slow the course of the disease, there is no known cure or HIV vaccine. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the deaths and new infections from HIV/AIDS, but these drugs are expensive and the medications are not available in all countries. Due to the difficulty in treating HIV infection, preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programmes in attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations, previously believed that only the brain could perform. This is according to a study from Umeå University in Sweden published in the journal Nature Ne ...

Carcinogenic role of a protein in liver decoded

The human protein EGFR controls cell growth. It has mutated in case of many cancer cells or exists in excessive numbers. For this reason it serves as a point of attack for target-oriented therapies. A study ...

Location of body fat can increase hypertension risk

People with fat around their abdominal area are at greater risk of developing hypertension when compared to those with similar body mass index but fat concentrations elsewhere on the body, according to a ...

A nucleotide change could initiate fragile X syndrome

Researchers reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotide—the basic building block of DNA—could initiate fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. The study appears ...

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center ...