What Is HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

HIV is the acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus , which in Portuguese means Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is the virus that causes AIDS , also an acronym that comes from English ( Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ) and that in Portuguese means Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

HIV is a retrovirus belonging to the subfamily of Lentiviridae  and has two known subtypes: HIV-1 and HIV-2.It is characterized by prolonged incubation period, infection of blood cells and nervous system and suppression of the immune system.

The cells most affected by HIV are CD4 + T lymphocytes , responsible for the defense of the organism, leaving the individual vulnerable to other infections and opportunistic diseases that take advantage of the weakened immune system to manifest themselves.

The incubation period of the HIV virus, ie between contamination and the onset of AIDS symptoms, is 3 to 10 years (or more).HIV is transmitted from person to person through blood, vaginal secretion, sperm and breast milk. Thus, transmission is associated with sexual intercourse without the use of condoms, use of blood or derivatives without quality control, shared use of syringes and needles, mother to child during pregnancy, if the woman is infected, receiving organs or semen from infected donors.

The first cases of AIDS appeared between 1977 and 1978 in the USA, Haiti and Central Africa, when the disease was then classified as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).HIV detection is performed by laboratory techniques that screen for antibodies, antigens, genetic material, or isolate the virus.There are currently associated drugs that can inhibit HIV replication, but there is still no cure for AIDS.

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