Human Immunodeficiency Virus
is the virus that weakens the immune system and can cause AIDS. The virus can be passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood and sexual contact. Pregnant women can pass HIV to their baby during pregnancy or delivery as well as through breast feeding. People with HIV have what is called HIV infection.
Traditionally only AIDS cases have been reported. But recently in California, new cases of HIVinfection are being reported by a unique identifier (no names).
The earliest known case was from a blood sample collected in 1959 from a man in the Republic of Congo (how he became infected is not known). Genetic analysis of this blood sample suggests that HIV-1 may have stemmed from a single virus in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.
The cause of AIDS is a virus that scientists isolated in 1983. The virus was first named HTLV-III (human T-cell lymphotropic virus-type III. Later it was changed to HIV.
There are two types of HIV. HIV-1 mostly found in the U.S. HIV-2 mostly found in Europe, Asia, Africa and Sub-Saharan countries.
Some scientists believe HIV spread from monkeys to humans between 1926 – 1946. Recent research indicates HIV most probably first crossed species from chimpanzees to humans as early as 1675 and did not establish itself as a epidemic in Africa until 1930.
Researchers studied 1,213 plasma samples obtained from Africa between 1959 – 1982. The 1959 sample tested positive HIV-1 becoming the oldest confirmed case of HIV. The case of a Manchester sailor who died of AIDS-like illness in 1959 was reported to be the oldest, but it has not been confirmed.
Gay men in the US & Sweden – heterosexuals in Tanzania and Haiti begin showing symptoms of what later be called AIDS.
Robert Gallo claims he discovered the virus a year later after the French isolated it. U.S. President Reagan has not mentioned the word AIDS in public. 11,055 cases in the U.S.; 5,620 dead.History
CDC notices an alarming rate of of rare cancer (Kaposi's Sarcoma). First called “gay cancer” soon after rename it GRID (gay related immune deficiency). 1,614 AIDS cases diagnosed in the U.S.; 619 dead
CDC warns blood banks of possible problem with the blood supply. Institut Pasteur in France finds the virus. 4,749 cases of AIDS in the U.S.; 2,122 dead.
FDA approves the first HIV-1 antibody test. The first International Conference on AIDS is held in Atlanta, GA. Nothing from President Reagan yet. 22,996 AIDS cases in the U.S.; 12,592 dead – including: Rock Hudson and Ricky Wilson (B-52’s).
AZT becomes the first drug approved by the FDA. 71,176 AIDS cases diagnosed in the U.S.; 41,027 dead – including: Liberace and Michael Bennett (Chorus Line).
Ronald Reagan apologizes for his neglect of the epidemic while he was president. Magic Johnson tells the world he has HIV. 257,750 AIDS diagnosed in the U.S.; 157,637 dead – including: Keith Haring (artist), Ryan White.
FDA approves the first Protease Inhibitors for HIV treatment. 534,806 AIDS diagnosis, 332,249 dead in the U.S.
For the first time, death from AIDS plummeted more than 40 percent during the first half of 1997. Scientists say the decline can be traced to new drugs. As well the number of new cases of AIDS are decreasing, but about 40,000 new HIV infections occur each year.''
For the first time in more than 17 years, the Bay Area Reporter (A SF Gay weekly) contained no obituaries of AIDS victims.
CDC reports that HIV infection rates rising among Gay and Bisexual men.
When HIV infects the body, it prefers to attack certain cells of our defense system. These cells are called helper T cells. HIV specializes in these cells since these cells have CD4 molecules on the surface to which HIV binds
helper T cell
A person normally has between 600 – 1500 T cells
The virus anchors itself to the CD4 on the surface of the helper T cell causing the viral membrane to fuse with the host cell’s membrane. This is how the virus genetic information gets inside the cell.
The virus’s DNA converts itself into RNA
A copy of the RNA genetic information is added to the bubble . This section of the cell membrane turns inside out and new viruses are released.
The release of new virus particles significantly weakens the host cell which soon dies. That’s how the immune system weakens.
These bodily fluids have been proven to spread HIV:
An HIV infected person receives an AIDS diagnosis after developing one of the CDC-defined opportunistic infections and or a CD4 cell count of below 200.
AIDS cases are reportable to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
AIDS Defining Conditions
1. Candidiasis of bronchi, trachea, or lungs
2. Candidiasis, esophageal
3. CD4 counts below 200, or a CD4 percentage less than 14
4. Cervical cancer, invasive
5. Coccidiomycosis, disseminated or extrapulmonary (Valley Fever)
6. Cryptococcosis, extrapulmonary
7. Cryptosporidiosis, chronic intestinal (>1 month duration)
8. Cytomegalovirus disease (CMV); other than liver, spleen or nodes
9. Cytomegalovirus retinitis (with loss of vision)
10. HIV encephalopathy
11. Herpes simplex: chronic ulcer(s) (>1 month duration); or bronchitis, pneumonitis, or esophagitis
12. Histoplasmosis, disseminated or extrapulmonary
13.Isosporiasis, chronic intestinal (>1 month duration)
14. Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS)
15. Lymphoma, Burkitt's (or equivalent term)
16. Lymphoma, immunoblastic (or equivalent term)
17. Lymphoma, primary in brain
18. Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), disseminated or extrapulmonary
19. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, any site (pulmonary or extrapulmonary)
20. Mycobacterium,, disseminated or extrapulmonary
21. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)
22. Pneumonia, recurrent
23. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
24 Salmonella septicemia, recurrent
25. Toxoplasmosis of brain
26. Wasting syndrome due to HIV
Detects the specific immune response to HIV the body sends out to fight HIV infection (antibodies). Takes 2 weeks to 6 months (window period) to develop enough antibodies for the test to be 99.8 % accurate.
PCR/DNA (Viral Load)
Detects the presence of the HIV-1 or HIV-2 in the body. The window period for this test is 14 days to be 100% accurate.
Cause Chlamydia Trachomatis (Bacteria)
How transmitted Direct contact with infected sexual
fluids during genital, oral or anal sex.
Symptoms Many males and most females have no
symptoms. May have burning on urination, discharge,
abdominal pain, pain during sex, or females may bleed
during or after sex. Symptoms begin 1-3 weeks or
longer after contact
Diagnostic tests Swab of urethra in males or cervix in
females, urine test, or swab of anus or throat
Complications Can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
(PID) in females, which is a serious infection of the
reproductive organs that can lead to sterility. It can also
cause eye infections or pneumonia in infant during
Cause Neisseria Gonorrhea (Bacteria)
How transmitted Direct contact with infected sexual
fluids during genital, oral or anal sex.
Symptoms May have no symptoms - especially
females. May have burning while urinating, and thick
Diagnostic tests Swab of urethra in male and cervix in
female, urine test, and throat swab.
Complications Can cause PID in females, which can
lead to sterility. Can cause heart and brain infection.
Can cause blindness in infants if infected during birth.
Cause Treponema Pallidum (Bacteria)
How transmitted Direct contact with sores of infected
person. Case remains infectious for up to 2 years after
Symptoms A painless open sore (chancre) appears
between 10 days and 3 months after exposure. May
also cause skin rash on hands and feet. All symptoms
go away without treatment.
Diagnostic tests Blood test. Swab of chancre.
Complications Can cause heart, brain, spinal cord,
bone and joint damage. Can cause death if
Cause Herpes Simplex Virus
How transmitted Direct skin-to-skin contact with the
site of infection to the site of contact during genital,
oral or anal sex.
Symptoms Painful sores appear on the genital, rectum,
or other parts of the body. Symptoms usually disappear
causing victims to mistakenly think they are cured.
Repeated outbreaks are common.
Diagnostic tests Swab of the sores or blisters. A blood
test is not a good indicator of infection.
Treatment Antiviral creams or pills. There is no cure.
Complications Can pass to other sites if not careful
with hand washing after touching sores. Infants can be
infected at birth causing serious medical problems
Cause Human Papilloma Virus
How transmitted Direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or previously infected person. Warts may show up anywhere from 1 1/2 to 8 months after exposure.
Symptoms Causes a wart usually on genitals. May cause itching or burning. Usually found on the penis, vulva
(vagina), but also may be found on the mouth, throat,
cervix and anus.
Diagnostic tests Direct visual exam. Pap tests in females.
Treatment Warts may be removed with either liquid,
freezing or laser. Surgery may be required if severe.
Cause and Transmission: The virus can be spread by percutaneous routes (e.g. needle sharing, acupuncture, ear piercing, tattooing, transfusions, receiving blood products) and through very close personal contact involving the exchange of blood or secretions (e.g. sex, child birth, breast feeding, anal rimming, etc.). The most common means of transmission of HBV in the U.S. is via the sexual route.
• Anorexia; recovery follows regaining appetite.
• Nausea pain and fullness in the upper right
• Arthritis and rash
• Liver shrinkage
• Severe liver damage and bleeding; can be fatal.
At high risk for HBV infection:
• Intravenous drug users
• Patients undergoing blood transfusions or
• Personnel in contact with blood and blood products
• Individuals with multiple sexual contacts
(heterosexual and homosexual)
• Immunosuppressed individuals
(e.g. people who are HIV +)
• Infants born to mothers with chronic HBV
• Residents and staff members of institutions for the
Cause Phthirus Pubis (Pubic Lice)
How transmitted Close physical contact with an infected person (especially sexual contact) Also possible through sharing bedding, clothes, towels and possibly toilet seat.
Symptoms persistent itch in pubic hair - usually worse at night. May see live crab or brown specks in underwear.
Diagnostic tests Visual examination
Treatment Medicated lotion applied to pubic hair.
Complications Secondary infections from scratching.
- Skin to skin contact with another person infected or colonized with MRSA
- Contact with a surface contaminated with the organism