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The Cure

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The Cure: How Close Are We from Stopping the Pandemic?

Human Biology 1000
September 24, 2009

Audience: Future scientist, researches, and the general public

Greetings to you all, my name is ------------------------- and I am giving a briefing today on one of human kinds biggest enemies. The object of this briefing is to inform all of you about the hope that has recently been discovered to possibly cure HIV/AIDS. One of the biggest germs of our time which is responsible for over 2 million lives lost is HIV/AIDS also known as Human Immune Deficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. There is an estimated 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS. This monster of a virus is crossing all ethnic lines as well as social classes and all age groups. It sees no color of the skin, your age or where you come from. What is HIV or by its scientific name the human immune deficiency syndrome or immunodeficiency virus: it is a modern day virus that according to some research dates back to the early 1950’s. As it grows today it has been around since the 1970’s in its current form. HIV has to forms, HIV-1B and HIV-1c. HIV-1B is mainly in the United States and HIV-1C is what we find in Africa. You can have HIV for years and not have any symptoms at all, so what are the phases of HIV? (2) 1) The primary HIV infection phase (aka as acute sero-conversion illness)
2) The asymptomatic phase
3) The minor symptomatic phase
4) The major symptomatic phase
5) AIDS Where did HIV/AIDS come from? Some say it came from chimpanzees in West Africa, others would argue and say that it is a homosexual disease that hit the U.S in the 1980’s. “While conspiracy theorists claim it was developed by the CIA to kill off blacks and homosexuals.” (3) But there is good news, hope is among us, according to an article titled, “Towards Effective HIV Vaccination: Induction of Binary Epitope Reactive Antibodies with Broad HIV Neutralizing Activity" (4). Scientists are working to develop a vaccine for the human immunodeficiency virus to create an antigen that includes protective antibodies that are capable of blocking infection of human cells by the genetically- diverse strains of HIV. "The complexity of HIV has for long thwarted development of an effective HIV vaccine. Our findings open a new path toward an effective preventative and therapeutic vaccine," said Sudhir Paul, Ph.D., the study's senior author and a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. "The new antigen is a prototype vaccine; in this prototype it successfully eliminates nature's restrictions on the production of broadly-neutralizing antibodies to HIV by the immune system" (4). Why this information is important: in order to effectively find a vaccine we must get to the root of the disease and the phases that it goes through. The antigen that has been discovered makes it capable of blocking the infection or virus that gives HIV the power to take over the body. According to the World Health Organization and the U.N agency UNAIDS they have found a vaccine to prevent the infection of AIDS. (5) The vaccine is a combination of the first two previously unsuccessful vaccines and has cut the infection by 31 percent in the some 16,000 volunteers it was tested on. With this new found information there surely is hope that with more work and more tests this vaccine can and will put a stop to the HIV/AIDS virus. Today we made history by finding the first vaccine; next step is to find a cure. I conclude, and will say this is just my opinion, that this disease was made by man and is a cruel plot to wipe out a population of people who have been deemed not worthy. I feel that the disease was made so the people would die off and the land that holds so much in riches and glory would be used up and destroyed. But the plan backfired when the disease spread to the U.S and other places. Now scientists are working to find a not only a vaccine but a cure to stop this disease from spreading and killing off more and more people. They said that in the 1980’s when HIV/AIDS first hit, they would find a cure in ten years, twenty six years have passed and now they have found a vaccine that provides hope for the future.
References Cited:
1) Mader, S.S. 2008. Human Biology, 10th ed. McGraw-Hill, New York
2) Internet Article. 2005. Symptoms and phases of HIV infection and AIDS, from http://www.health.am/aids/moresymptoms_and_phases_of_hiv_infection_aids
3) Laing, A. 2009. AIDS/HIV: Where it came from and how it spread, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6225356/AidsHiv-where-it-came-from-and-how-it-spread.html
4) Cahill, R. 2009. New chemically activated antigen could expedite development of HIV vaccine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, from http://www.topix.com/health/hiv-aids
5) Marchione, M and Casey, M. 2009. Associated Press Writers, A world first: Vaccine helps prevent HIV infection from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090924/ap_on_he_me/med_aids_vaccine;_ylt=Ai6WT19BJDYsqc_iesP097l2wPIE;_ylu=X3oDMTJqNTVhZDl0BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwOTI0L21lZF9haWRzX3ZhY2NpbmUEY3BvcwMzBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDYXdvcmxkZmlyc3R2

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