The term AIDS stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome.
The disease is acquired during life time.
AIDS is caused by human immune deficiency virus (HIV).
HIV is a retrovirus having RNA as the genetic material.
Mode of transmission-
- Sexual contact with infected persons.
- Bytransfusion of contaminated blood and blood products.
- By sharinginfected needles as in the case of intravenous drug abusers.
- From infected mother to her child through placenta.
Life cycle of HIV
- After getting into the body the virus enters into macrophages or T-helper cells.
- The viral RNA genome replicated to form viral DNA with the enzyme called reverse transcriptase.
- The viral DNA gets incorporated into the host cell’s DNA and directs the infected cells to produce virus particles and the macrophages continue to produce virus.
- Viruses released from macrophages attack T-helper cells and cause a progressive reduction in the number of T-helper cells and due to which the person starts suffering from infections with several other microorganisms.
Diagnosed by ELISA (enzyme linked immune-sorbent assay).
Treated with anti-retroviral drugs but that is only partially effective.
Prevention of AIDS-
- To follow safe blood transfusion.
- To use disposable needles.
- To distribute free condoms.
- To prevent drug abuse.
Fig. HIV virus