The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) leads to the HIV infection. On the other hand, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most progressive form of HIV infection. HIV is known for attacking and destroying the CD4 cells of the immune system which helps in fighting infections and some cancers. Without medication, HIV can slowly interfere with the immune system and progress to AIDS.
HIV is mainly transmitted through contact with some body fluids from an infected individual. The fluids include: sperms, fluids from the Virginia, breast milk, blood, and other body fluids. In the U.S., HIV is mainly spread through sexual intercourse and sharing drug injection equipment with infected individuals. To minimize the risk of the HIV virus, condoms are recommended during sexual intercourse. It is also important to minimize the number of sexual partners, as well as avoid sharing of injection objects. One cannot contract HIV through a handshake or hugging an infected individual. One can also not get infected by the virus through sharing objects like the latrine, utensils, and other stationary used by an infected persons. Also, HIV is not transmitted through the air or insect bites.
There are several major stages of HIV life progression, which include: binding, fusion, reverse transcription, integration, replication, assembly, and budding. Binding, also known as attachment, is the process whereby HIV attaches itself to receptors on the surface of the CD4 cells. Under Fusion, the HIV and CD4 cell membrane merge, thus enabling the virus to get into the CD4 cell. In reverse transcription, the HIV discharges and utilizes an enzyme known as reverse transcriptase to transform its inherited substance HIV RNA into HIV DNA. This conversion enables HIV to get into the CD4 cell nucleolus to fuse with the cells’ genetic material. Under integration, the HIV releases integrase which insert the HIV into its viral DNA into the DNA of the CD4 cell. At Replication, the virus starts using the mechanism of the CD4 cells to form lengthy chains of HIV proteins. At the assembly stage, the new HIV proteins and the HIV RNA move to the surface of the cell and assemble into noninfectious HIV. At the budding stage, the newly produced noninfectious HIV moves out of the host CD4 cell. The new HIV then releases a HIV enzyme which breaks the long protein chains that form the immature virus. The smaller HIV proteins join to produce mature HIV.
From 1981, before the actual discovery of the causes of AIDS, there were two major competing explanations of the disease: that there was an infectious agent, and that immune system breakdown had originated from overly taxing the body with sex and drugs. Even though, the former theory prevailed, the latter theory has lasted in the widespread imagination as a ‘rationale’ lurking behind the kinds of individuals supposed to be at risk. When HIV/AIDS was first discovered, the media and traditional interpretations invoked the cultural stories. These stories appeared to make sense of the medical confirmation that accommodated the possibility of either a transmissible agent or a defect in the body or lifestyle. The racist ideology which regarded Black individuals as primitive related the earlier HIV cases among Blacks to being too natural. They were regarded as being incapable of adjusting to the physical rigors and nature of modern lifestyles. According to the Virgin/Whore ideology as described by Patton, prostitutes were blamed for other females’ sexual desire. These cultural stories for describing AIDS encompassed joint theories and single agent theories of the cause of AIDS. The actual detection of HIV virus made very little difference to the widespread thoughts.