HIV/AIDS remains one of the world's most significant public health challenges, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.As a result of recent advances in access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV-positive people now live longer and healthier lives. In addition, it has been confirmed that ART prevents onward transmission of HIV.At the end of 2014, 14.9 million people were receiving ART worldwide; this represents 40% [37–45%] of the 36.9 million [34.3–41.4 million] people living with HIV.WHO has released a set of normative guidelines and provides support to countries in formulating and implementing policies and programmes to improve and scale up HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for all people in need.
1. Where it Came From
Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in West Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV) most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world.
For many years scientists theorized as to the origins of HIV and how it appeared in the human population, most believing that HIV originated in other primates. Then in 1999, an international team of researchers reported that they had discovered the origins of HIV-1, the predominant strain of HIV in the developed world. A subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa had been identified as the original source of the virus. The researchers believe that HIV-1 was introduced into the human population when hunters became exposed to infected blood.
2. Earliest Cases
The earliest known case of infection with HIV-1 in a human was detected in a blood sample collected in 1959 from a man in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (How he became infected is not known.) Genetic analysis of this blood sample suggested that HIV-1 may have stemmed from a single virus in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
There is some evidence that AIDS made the rounds in Europe following World War II, predicated on a wave of children dying from PCP, a disease which only afflicts those with weakened immune systems. Its presence is almost a sure sign that the patient has AIDS. A Dutch researcher traced the epidemic to the Baltic port city of Danzig, then found it spread throughout the continent. It is believed that the disease spread by the then relatively common practice of reusing needles. Surprisingly, approximately only one-third of the children died, suggesting the virus they contracted had not yet changed into the fully lethal version we recognize today.
There was a great deal of conjecture in the late 1980's about Patient Zero, identified as Gaetan Dugas - a Canadian flight attendant who purportedly knowingly infected as many as 250 men a year on both sides of the Atlantic - said to have singlehandedly started the epidemic, but most of this is now largely discredited. Anyhow, no one ever believed he was the first to be infected. Computer models have estimated that the first human infection occurred about 1930, give or take 20 years. The earliest known infection of an identified human being dates back to 1959, found in a plasma sample taken from an adult male living in the Belgian Congo (later Zaire and now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). As to how, most of the loose talk on the street seems to assume sex between a human and a chimp, as the HIV-1 virus is almost identical to a simian virus found in chimpanzees. A human eating a chimp seems just as likely, and some evidence suggests that it may have occurred iatrogenically when chimps were used in developing a polio vaccine for humans.
HIV/AIDS is so much more frightening than other diseases due to its ability to bypass the immune system and then destroy it. When the virus enters the system, it is cloaked in carbohydrate sugar molecules that cling to its surface, “fooling” our bodies into thinking the virus is a nutrient. However, research suggests that we may be able to use this adaptation against HIV. The sugar molecules it utilizes are slightly different from those normally found in the human body–enough so that it could
be possible to synthesize a vaccine to help our bodies recognize the virus and force the immune system to attack.
According to the World Health Organization, 36 million people have died from AIDS since the first cases were reported in 1981. On this list, there are countless celebs who suffered from the deadly disease for different reasons. Here are several celebs who suffered from or suffer from HIV/AIDS
This list of famous people with HIV is loosely ranked by fame and popularity.The most famous person with HIV was Freddy Mercury . The Queen front man denied that he had tested HIV positive for most of his life. He only confirmed that he had HIV, and that it had developed into AIDS, two days before his death in 1991. Other musicians who have suffered from HIV include jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, rapper Eazy-E, and Creedence Clearwater Revival guitarist Tom Fogerty. There are many other rappers and stars with HIV that you might not know about.
Brad Davis Known for his role in 'Midnight Express,' Davis was diagnosed in 1985 with HIV. He then purposefully overdosed in 1991.
Timothy Patrick Murphy An original cast member of 'Dallas,' Murphy died of AIDS related issues in 1988.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Arthur Ashe contracted HIV from a blood transfusion. He died from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1993.
Psycho star Anthony Perkins was very secretive about the fact that he had HIV. He died from complications with AIDS-related pneumonia in 1992.
NBA superstar Magic Johnson announced that he was infected with HIV in 1991. Johnson takes a variety of medications daily to prevent his HIV from becoming full blown AIDS.
Rock Hudson announced that he had AIDS in 1985. The actor died less than three months later.
6. Intentional Infection
In many countries, intentionally or recklessly infecting another person with HIV is a crime. In the United States, the Center for HIV Law and Policy says 32 states, including Iowa, and two territories -- Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- have such laws on their books.HIV criminalization laws began in 1990 when the federal Ryan White CARE Act passed. That law mandated that states criminalize intentional transmission of HIV in order to get funding for treatment and prevention programs.
Some states took it a step further than federal law required, defining intentional transmission as failing to disclose positive status to a sexual partner. The second time the act was reauthorized, in 2000, the requirement that states must criminalize intentional transmission was removed.
The criminalization laws were put in place to protect the public -- to prevent cases where someone with HIV knowingly exposed others to the virus and did not disclose their HIV status before a sexual encounter.
Human immunodeficiency virus immunity is the natural immunity of humans to HIV. A small percentage of humans are believed to have partial to possible complete immunity to HIV due to mutations in CCR5 receptors. It is estimated that the number of people with some form of immunity to HIV is under 1%.
In 1994, Stephen Crohn became the first person discovered to be completely resistant to HIV in all tests performed. He became the basis for multiple anti-viral medications used on HIV-positive patients today.
In early 2000, researchers discovered a small group of prostitutes in Nairobi, Kenya who were estimated to have sexual contact with 60 to 70 HIV positive clients a year without signs of infection.Researchers from Public Health Agency of Canada have identified 15 proteins unique to those virus-free prostitutes. Later, however some prostitutes were discovered to have contracted the virus leading Oxford University researcher, Sarah Rowland-Jones, to believe continual exposure as a requirement for maintaining immunity.
Individuals with HIV immunity have intrigued scientists for over a decade. How is it that the immune systems of some seem impervious to a virus that kills 2 million people around the globe each year?
Researchers have focused on a few proteins – called CCR5, CD4 and human leukocyte antigen – that may hold the key to this puzzle as well as offer the potential for new HIV treatments.
A new study at the University of Southern California shows mice with a mutation in the gene that encodes CCR5 have immunity to HIV. According to the researchers' report in the July issue of Nature Biotechnology, their work provides "proof of concept for a new approach to HIV treatment."
8.The Geoffrey Bowers Case
Geoffrey Francis Bowers (December 29, 1953–September 30, 1987) was the plaintiff in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases to go to public hearing.In August 1984, Bowers joined Baker & McKenzie as a litigation associate. Baker & McKenzie is an international law firm, and Bowers hoped to use his knowledge of Italian, German, French, Dutch and Spanish. The following year, Bowers began to experience throbbing headaches and to see yellow spots. He was diagnosed with meningitis.In April 1986, he was diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma and AIDS.In May 1986 the law firm's partners gave Bowers a satisfactory evaluation. Two months later, in July, they voted to dismiss him, without following normal termination processes, including consulting with his supervisor or asking for a list of his clients and billable hours. His supervisors objected to the decision, delaying its implementation. However, in October, 12 of the 15 partners again voted to dismiss him. He left the company on December 5, 1986
9. Search For a Cure
Researchers remain hopeful that they're heading in the right direction to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.Two babies who were treated as infants for HIV lived for years without any signs of the virus.Now, one of them is testing positive for HIV again.But the treatments at least held the virus at bay for a while -- and that could lead to changes in treatments for people recently infected.
Scientists searching for a cure for AIDS say they have uncovered the basic chemistry of the HIV virus and that the most likely strategy for fighting the disease will be attacking it with another virus.
For almost a quarter of a century, scientists around the world have been trying to find a cure for the disease that has so far killed millions. The UN estimates that more than two million people were newly infected with the AIDS virus last year, more than half in sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers have developed a range of medicines that can substantially prolong the life of HIV-positive patients, but their high price is keeping them outside of reach of many.So scientists at the University of Miami are taking a different approach to attacking the virus.
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