1. Since AIDS was first recognized in 1981 in sexually promiscuous homosexual men, it has claimed more than 420,000 lives in the United States, and become the leading cause of death in those 25 to 44 years of age.
2. Worldwide, 40 million people are infected with an AIDS-causing virus; it is estimated that a new infection occurs about every 6 seconds, and a person dies of AIDS every 5 minutes. (Figure 29.1)
3. In Africa below the Sahara, AIDS is now the number one cause of death, surpassing malaria; it is spreading rapidly in India and into China.
29.1 Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and AIDS
1. "AIDS-defining conditions" such as unusual tumors or serious infections by agents that normally have little virulence usually reflect immunodeficiency and were especially useful "markers" in early studies of the AIDS epidemic. (Table 29.1)
HIV Disease (Table 29.5, Figure 29.8)
1. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a late manifestation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease.
2. "Flu"-like or infectious mononucleosis-like symptoms representing the acute retrovirus syndrome often occur 6 days to 6 weeks after infection by HIV; these symptoms subside without treatment.
3. Despite the absence of symptoms, HIV disease progresses and can be transmitted to others for years.
4. The asymptomatic period ends with the appearance of certain tumors, or the onset of immunodeficiency (AIDS) as marked by LAV, ARC, and opportunistic or reactivated infections.
5. Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), possesses single-stranded RNA. It belongs to the lentivirus genus of the retrovirus family, and is the main cause of AIDS.
6. The disease is spread mainly by sexual intercourse, by blood or contaminated hypodermic needles, and from mother to fetus or newborn. (Tables 29.3, 29.4)
7. Different kinds of cells can be infected by HIV, notably two kinds vital to the immune system, T-helper (Th) lymphocytes and macrophages. (Figures 29.4, 29.5)
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