December 3, 2012
What is HIV? HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, a retro virus that causes AIDS. Statistics indicate there are more than one million people living with HIV in the United States. HIV was discovered in June 1981. Since then approximately 1.7 million in the United States are estimated to have been infected with the virus. Every 9.5 minutes someone in the United States is being infected with HIV.
How does HIV work? In order to survive, HIV must enter a healthy human cell and uses the cell’s machinery to make copies of itself. HIV attaches to the cell and uses a special chemical as a key to enter. Once inside, HIV uses a chemical called reverse transcriptase to disguise itself. Wearing this disguise, HIV is ready to sneak into the cell’s control center. Then HIV uses another chemical called integrase to gain access to cell’s control center. HIV then adds its own information into the cell’s machinery and starts making copies of itself. Another chemical, called protease, cuts out and puts together the new copies of the virus. Once the new virus leaves the cell, they are ready to find and attack more cells.
Anyone is capable of contracting the virus. One person who stands out with the virus is Earvin Johnson but you may know him by another name, Magic Johnson. Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a retired American professional basketball player. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson is a 5 time NBA champion, 3 time NBA finals MVP, 3 time NBA Most Valuable Player and has 12 NBA All-Star appearances. He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. Due to Johnson’s success he is highly remarked as an icon. All that changed when he announced he was diagnosed with HIV in November 1991 ending his 12 year NBA career. After a physical...