Sample Medical Sciences Paper on HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is relatively a major health issue that significantly has an impact on the economic development of a country. Notably, the first incidence of the disease was documented in 1981 among gay individuals in the USA. Consequently, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was found as the major cause of the illness in the year 1984. The number of people infected with the disease has increased since 1980 with the number reaching twenty million at the end of 1996 and thirty million by 2002 (Haacker 2). Therefore, this paper precisely extrapolates on the difference between HIV and AIDS, modes of HIV transmission, HIV life cycle, and cultural narratives towards HIV/AIDS.

The Difference between HIV and AIDS

HIV is a virus that causes AIDS, thereby making the body’s immune system to deteriorate, hence, susceptible to various infections such as tuberculosis (Patton 1). Notably, the virus affects specific immune system cells referred to as the CD4 cells that are responsible for protecting the body against other illness. AIDs is the most advanced level of HIV infection occurring at the last stage of the virus in which a person’s immune system has been greatly weakened.

Ways in which HIV is transmitted

The global prevalence of HIV has steadily risen due to various modes of transmission that makes numerous individuals be highly susceptible to the disease. In essence, the virus can be transferred from an infected individual to another, mostly through direct contact with the body fluids (Patton 11). For instance, engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with a person having the infection without using protection such as condoms can make one to acquire the disease. Additionally, sharing of sharp devices like needles and syringes with people that are infected also influence the spread of the disease (Patton 11). As such, HIV is a virus that can be spread through risky sexual behaviors that expose one to the disease.

Stages of HIV Life Cycle

HIV implies a mechanism of the CD4 cells to replicate and in the body system through a process known as the HIV life cycle. The stages include binding, fusion, reverse transcription, integration, multiplication, assembly, and budding. The virus attaches itself to the walls of the CD4 cells and eventually covers the cell membrane. The CD4 cells then fuse thereby enabling HIV to penetrate the cell. While inside the cell, the HIV produces and incorporates a reverse transcriptase enzyme to change its genetic components. The conversion of the virus RNA to DNA permits the virus to infiltrate the cell nucleus and chain with the cell’s genetic constituents (The HIV Life Cycle Understanding HIV/AIDS). The new developed immature HIV then moves out of the host cell excreting an enzymatic protease that joins to create a mature virus.

Cultural Narratives and Public Responses towards HIV/AIDS

Various cultural notions have been used to determine the cause of HIV such as the belief that a person’s lifestyle and behaviors influence the infection. For instance, AIDS was viewed to be enhanced by overtaxing the body with sex and drugs (Patton 11). Further, racist viewed the incidence as blacks being primitive and too natural thereby could not adjust to the modern ways of life which resulted in low body immunity.


HIV is a virus that causes AIDs whereas AIDS is a disease that occurs at the last stage of an HIV infection. The virus is transmitted through various modes such as having unprotected sex with an infected individual and sharing sharp objects with the affected. The seven stages of HIV life cycle include binding, fusion, reverse transcription, integration, multiplication, assembly, and budding.



Works Cited

“The HIV Life Cycle Understanding HIV/AIDS”. Aidsinfo, 2018, Accessed 5 June 2018.

Haacker, Markus. The Economics of the Global Response to HIV/AIDS. Oxford University Press, 2016.

Patton, Cindy. Setting the Terms for an Epidemic. 1st ed., 1994, pp. 1-12, Accessed 5 June 2018.