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Unlocking the Mysteries of HIV: Do You Have a Basic Understanding?

Basic Understanding of HIV

By Md . Jashim uddinPublished 5 months ago 4 min read
The root of HIV

The virus, HIV, was first observed in the United States in 1981 by a cluster of injection drug users and gay men with no known cause of impaired immunity who showed symptoms of Pneumococcus Carina pneumonia (PCP), a rare opportunistic infection that was known to occur in people with very compromised immune systems. Soon thereafter, additional gay men developed a previously rare skin cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Many more cases of PCP and KS emerged, alerting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and forming a task force to monitor the outbreak.

In 1983, two separate research groups led by Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier independently declared that a novel retrovirus may have been infecting AIDS patients, and published their findings in the same issue of the journal Science. Gallo claimed that a virus his group had isolated from an AIDS patient was strikingly similar in shape to other human T-phototropic viruses (HTLVs) they had been the first to isolate. They named their newly isolated virus HTLV-III. At the same time, Montagnier's group isolated a virus from a patient presenting with swelling of the lymph nodes of the neck and physical weakness, two classic symptoms of AIDS. Contradicting the report from Gallo's group, Montagnier and his colleagues showed that core proteins of this virus were immunologically different from those of HTLV-I. Montagnier's group named their isolated virus lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV). As these two viruses

turned out to be the same, in 1986, LAV and HTLV-III were renamed HIV.


Basic Statistics OF HIV........

HIV and AIDS remain a persistent problem for the United States and countries around the world. While great progress has been made in preventing and treating HIV, there is still much to do. The questions in this section provide a broad overview of the effects of HIV and AIDS in the United States and globally.

About 50,000 people get infected with HIV each year. In 2010, there were around 47,500 new HIV infections in the United States.

About 1.1 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2010, the most recent year this information was available. Of those people, about 16% do not know they are infected.

CDC estimates the number of people living with HIV (called prevalence) by using a scientific model. This model helps CDC estimate the number of new HIV infections and how many people are infected but don’t know it. HIV prevalence is the number of people living with HIV infection at a given time, such as at the end of a given year.

There are different ways to answer this question.

If we look at HIV infection by race and ethnicity, we see that African Americans are most affected by HIV. In 2010, African Americans made up only 12% of the US population, but had 44% of all new HIV infections. Additionally, Hispanic/Latinos are also strongly affected. They make up 17% of the US population, but had 21% of all new HIV infections.

Pie chart title: New HIV Infections by Race/Ethnicity, 2010. Of the 47,500 new HIV infections in 2010: 44% were in African Americans; 31% were in Whites; 21% were in Hispanic/Latinos; 2% were in Asians; 1% were in those of multiple races; Less than 1% were in American Indians/Alaska Natives; Less than 1% were in Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders

If we look at HIV infections by how people got the virus (transmission category), we see that men who have sex with men (MSM) are most at risk. In 2010, MSM had 63% of all new HIV infections, even though they made up only around 2% of the population. Individuals infected through heterosexual sex made up 25% of all new HIV infections in 2010.

Pie chart title: New HIV Infections by Transmission Category, 2010. Of the 47,400 new HIV infections in 2010: 63% were due to male to male sex; 25% were due to heterosexual contact; 8% were due to injection drug use; 3% were due to male to male sex and injection drug use

Combining those two views allows us to see the most affected populations, by race and by risk factor.

Figure1: Estimated New HIV Infections in the United States, 2010, for the Most Affected Subpopulations

This bar chart shows the number of new HIV infections in 2010 for the most-affected sub-populations. The most new infections occurred among white men who have sex with men, or MSM, (11,200) followed by black MSM (10,600), Hispanic MSM (6,700), black heterosexual women (5,300), black heterosexual men (2,700), white heterosexual women (1,300), Hispanic heterosexual women (1,200), black male injection drug users, or IDU, (1,100) and black female IDU (850).

There are also variations by age. Young people, aged 13-24 are especially affected by HIV. They comprised 16% of the US population, but accounted for 26% of all new HIV infections in 2010. All young people are not equally at risk, however. Young MSM, for example, accounted for 72% of all new infections in people aged 13-24, and young, African American MSM are even more severely affected.

explain the impact of HIV on various populations in the United States.

HIV is largely an urban disease, with most cases occurring in metropolitan areas with 500,000 or more people. The South has the highest number of individuals living with HIV, but when you take population size into account, the Northeast has the highest rate of persons living with new HIV infections. (Rates are the number of cases of disease per 100,000 people. Rates allow comparisons between two groups of different sizes.)

HIV and AIDS in the United States by Geographic Distribution is a fact sheet that explains the geography of HIV in the United States.


About the Creator

Md . Jashim uddin

I Mr. Jashim uddin who was an

Executive Editor of a Daily

Newspaper in Bangladesh.

I started work with International Blue Cross and Blue Crescent Society as a Ambassador at large to Regional Director South East Asia .

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Comments (2)

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  • Johaer Anjum5 months ago

    Thanks Mr . Jashim

  • Alex H Mittelman 5 months ago

    Fantastically written! Great work! Great’!

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