Comparison and Contrast of HIV and AIDS

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a blood-borne that is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner, by sharing intravenous drug paraphernalia, and through mother-to-child transmission at birth or during breastfeeding. On the other hand, the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a condition that results after a long time when one has been diagnosed with HIV virus. This condition results after the body’s immune system are compromised such that the CD4 helper T-cells fall below the required number in the blood. Due to low immunity, the body is prone to opportunistic infections. The essay provides a comparison and contrast between HIV and AIDS by highlighting their pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, medical management, and prognosis.

Pathophysiology of HIV and AIDS

HIV is known to be responsible for producing cellular immune depleting features that clear the helper T lymphocytes or the CD4+ cells. The reduction of the T helper cells results in the development of more opportunistic infections (Brunetta, Hudspeth, & Mavilio, 2010). Both HIV type 1 and 2 are viruses of the Retroviridae family known as the Lentivirus genus. The viruses are enveloped and diploid with single strands. They are positive RNA viruses that have a DNA intermediate that can persist within a host’s DNA cell (Brunetta et al., 2010).

HIV majorly has three genes namely the gag, pol, and env. The genes ensure that they remain in the host cell by an encoding mechanism. The gag ,for instance, encodes antigens that are specific to groups that form the inner structural protein while the pol is responsible for coding polymerase, which is then produced as a C-terminal extension of the gag protein (Brunetta et al., 2010).

Lastly, the env encodes the envelope that covers the virus or the outer structural proteins that give it the cell-type specificity. The viral envelope protein that holds (or binds) to the host T helper cells is then formed. Both HIV 1 and 2 have distinct genes that perform different functions. The accessory proteins and further aids in its progress predominantly carry out the replication of HIV type 1 and 2. Both types have outer layers that are composed of long terminal repeats (LTRs) (Brunetta et al., 2010).

The LTRs form sequences that ensure gene transcription and splicing, the packaging of the genomic RNA of the viruses as well as their sequence of dimerization for packaging two RNA genomes. There is a linking technique between dimerization, aging, and gene-transcription processes. When one process is destroyed, the subsequent processes are also affected. Close examinations of LTRs show that they are only available in the pro-viral DNA genome. The RNA genomes of the viruses only contain portions of each LTR (Simon, Ho, & Karim, 2006). Complete LTRs are only recreated during the process of reverse transcription before integration takes place in the host DNA. The categories of HIV infection are grouped into three by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Simon et al., 2006). The categories include the following.

  • Category A: This class is asymptomatic HIV infection with no symptoms or physical conditions (Simon et al., 2006).
  • Category B: It is a symptomatic stage where symptoms seen are linked to HIV infections (Simon et al., 2006).
  • Category C: this category is the HIV infection with opportunistic infections that are manifested due to AIDS (Simon et al., 2006).

An elaboration of the AIDS condition can be shown through close examination of the CD4+ helper T cells. The reduction of the helper cells leads to the inversion of the normal ratio of CD4 and CD8 T-cells. This set of changes also result in the deregulation of the production of B-cell antibodies. The outcome is the reduced response of antigens in the host cells that further fails to react adequately to opportunistic infections as well as the regular harmless organisms such as the pneumocystis, Candida species, or tuberculosis in the body. This situation is due to the reduced immunity that has already occurred within the cells (Simon et al., 2006).

Clinical Manifestations

A clinical manifestation of HIV and AIDS is revealed through the diagnosis of various signs and symptoms. At the onset of an infection, an HIV positive patient experiences some short illnesses that have flu-like characteristics in the first 2 to 6 weeks after acquiring the disease from an infected person. After such feeling, no symptom is shown for several years. Various warning signs that are associated with HIV infections encompass peeled skin, enflamed glands, muscle and joint exhaustion, and fever among others. The HIV then enters the asymptomatic phase that is benign. Although this stage takes a longer period, the virus is still active in the body. As a result, it causes the depletion of the CD4 cells; hence, the immunity is gradually compromised. Nonetheless, a test should be done to ensure that such symptoms arise from the HIV infection since some diseases also assume similar warning signs (Thompson et al., 2010).

On the other hand, AIDS comes at a later stage after severe damage of the immune system by the HIV virus. This situation often happens after a period of about 10 years after the HIV virus has been detected in the body. The manifestation of AIDS is recurrent, severe, and life threatening due to various opportunistic infections and malignancies. Various symptoms that are common at the late stage of full-blown HIV are weight loss, chronic diarrhea, night sweats, skin infections, and rashes among others. Other opportunistic infections can include extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, HIV encephalopathy, toxoplasmosis, orolabial herpes simplex, esophageal candidiasis, and Kaposi’s sarcoma among others (Thompson et al., 2010).

Medical Management and Prognosis

The most effective medical intervention that should be considered in managing HIV and AIDS is the administration of the antiretroviral therapy (ART). This practice is usually accomplished to increase longevity and prevent the prevalence of opportunistic infections in HIV positive patients (Thompson et al., 2010). The antiretroviral therapy should be administered when the patient’s CD4 cell count is below 350/µL. Pregnant women who are HIV positive, patients who have been found to have HIV-associated nephropathy, and those with hepatitis B viruses should be given ART without regards to CD4 cell counts (Thompson et al., 2010).

A principal method that is well defined for administering ART is the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) due to immune deterioration. This method has classified the agents of ARV into Nucleoside reverse transcriptase (NRTIs), Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase, Fusion, protease, HIV integrase strand transfer, and CCR5 co-receptor antagonist inhibitors (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).

Conclusion

The essay has elaborated the comparison and contrasts that exist between HIV and AIDS. A crucial consideration is that both the illnesses are incurable. A person who has HIV does not necessarily have AIDS. The medical state occurs when a patient’s immune system deteriorates significantly. This situation makes the individual prone to secondary infections. Nonetheless, a person with AIDS must have the HIV virus. Most stages of the HIV progression are asymptomatic with minimal infections while AIDS have several warning signs due to opportunistic infections. Both the infections have no cure. However, they can be managed by administration of ART drugs.

Reference List

Brunetta, E., Hudspeth, K. L., & Mavilio, D. (2010). Pathologic natural killer cell subset redistribution in HIV-1 infection: new insights in pathophysiology and clinical outcomes. Journal of leukocyte biology, 88(6), 1119-1130.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 58(1), 67-68.

Simon, V., Ho, D., & Karim, Q. (2006). HIV / AIDS epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment. The Lancet, 368(9534), 489-504.

Thompson, M., Aberg, J., Cahn, P., Montaner, J., Rizzardini, G., Telenti, A.,…& Schooley, R. (2010). Antiretroviral treatment of adult HIV infection: 2010 recommendations of the International AIDS Society–USA panel. Jama, 304(3), 321-333.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with Online Academic Experts
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business and administrative studies
excellent
Customer 453201, November 29th, 2022
English 101
thank you for the excellent work
Customer 452883, October 29th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
awesome work
Customer 453201, June 15th, 2022
IT, Web
Awesome paper in such a short amount of time. Was in a jam with another service who didn't deliver, but Theresa did the job correctly. I will use her again to do my essays for sure!
Customer 452967, November 27th, 2021
Business Studies
Amazing!
Customer 452985, November 11th, 2021
Psychology
quick, fast and exact!
Customer 453027, May 24th, 2022
English 101
Thank you for this excellent analysis of the Alchemist.
Customer 453213, June 15th, 2022
Psychology
Great paper, Thank you so much.
Customer 453209, October 4th, 2022
Classic English Literature
It was my first time using such a service. Essay was good and nicely formatted.
Customer 452441, February 16th, 2022
Business and administrative studies
excellent
Customer 453201, October 22nd, 2022
History
Looks great and appreciate the help.
Customer 452675, April 26th, 2021
Communications
Thank you so much for your attention to this assignment and timeliness.
Customer 453111, November 12th, 2022
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Live ChatWhatsApp