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Thread: Come and help with my Microbiology project!

  1. #1

    Default Come and help with my Microbiology project!

    Hello Hello!

    So between the 14 credits of biology I'm currently taking ( 14 credits on the study of life...kill me now) one of them is Microbiology. I've just spent the last week learning about HIV and all of the wonderful ways it kills us. Now I have to write a paper on questions people have on HIV, and then my answers to those questions.

    So, that's where you come in! You post a question, I answer them, write them on my paper and get an A, people learn something, and I'm also doing my job to boot!

    Aside from my microbiology studies, I have worked as a sex educator at Planned Parenthood for the last 4 years, and currently intern in the education department working with their peer eduction program. If I do not know the answer to your question, I will exhaust all means to find the answer.

    So, what kind of questions do you have about HIV and AIDS?

  2. #2

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    Where and when is HIV supposed to have originated from, and how quickly has it spread since then?

  3. #3

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    What do you think is the best way to stop the spreading of HIV/AIDS? And no you can't say Magic Johnson. Free cookies to whoever guesses what that's from.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    What do you think is the best way to stop the spreading of HIV/AIDS? And no you can't say Magic Johnson. Free cookies to whoever guesses what that's from.
    South Park, About $100,000 shot directly into the bloodstream.

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  7. #7

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    The hell with the treatments, find a way to tell people to have no sex unless it is protected sex, then you will be doing something important.

    People assume just because you young you can't get HIV, all that it takes is one stupid person having unprotected sex, with someone who is infected, and it go's on and on.

    I don't care if you have sex, just make sure you wear protection, it's better to be safe than sorry later on.

  8. #8

  9. #9

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    - Where and when is HIV supposed to have originated from, and how quickly has it spread since then?

    HIV originated from monkeys from a virus called SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) that jumped species. No, it did not jump spieces by some guy having sex with a monkey. Chimpanzees are hunted for food in some cultures, and during the butchering process it is easy to see how some infected blood got in an open cut or sore.

    The jump of species was believed to have occurred sometime in the early 60's. Over the next 10 years HIV made its way across the globe, spreading form person to person. It is believed to have arrived in the US around 1973, from Haiti. The US was unique amongst most of the world in that it mostly affect the gay population at first. In most of Europe, Africa, it was heterosexual contact that spread the disease.

    So HIV made it's first contact in the US in 1973, and in 1983 we had the first few cases of gay men having a very rare case of pneumonia that only affects people with immuno-compromised systems. Over the last 25 years the disease has spread to affect 40 million people, and killed 25 million people.

    -What do you think is the best way to stop the spreading of HIV/AIDS?

    The best way of stopping HIV/AIDS is to get tested and find out your HIV status. Everyone has an HIV status, and about 1 in 4 people who have HIV don't even know that they have it. The symptoms in the first few weeks of the virus our flu-like, you feel sick, tired, drowsy, you sweat at night, nothing that would make red flags go off in your head. Which is why people have to assess their own risks and make the choice to get tested.

    The testing process for HIV now is very simple, just a simple finger prick and twenty minutes of time and you'll have an answer. However, the test for HIV does not look for the virus, rather it looks for the antibodies the body creates to fight HIV. These antibodies can take up to three months to be created. So if I went out and got infected with HIV today by having unprotected sex or using an dirty needle, it would take some time before I had a positive result.

    However it isn't as simple of just knowing your status. The biggest thing that will prevent HIV is not a drug or a vaccine, it's education. Teaching comprehensive sex education in classrooms, that involve how to correct and consistently put on condoms, which are 98% effective in preventing the spread of HIV, is the largest and cheapest way to stop the spread.

    There also needs to be a widespread use and acceptance of needle exchange programs for IV drug users. This may seem controversial, taking dirty needles from drug users and giving them clean ones to use, but 1 in 5 HIV cases are from dirty needles. Plus there is a massive amount of studies that show that needle exchange programs are the first step many people take in order to kick the addiction.

    -What has prevented the massive infection and deaths predicted?

    I'm a little unsure of your question here, because there has been a massive amount of infection and death. Could you explain your question a little more?

    -What are some of the latest treatments?

    HIV is a very stupid virus, in that it can barely keep its genetic code the same from generation to generation. It mutates so quickly that unless a person keeps a strict drug regimen, the virus will become resistant and spread through the body again.

    Some of the latest treatments are the same idea, done a different way. Just a single point mutation, one letter in the RNA code changing, can change the shape of a protein or molecule that HIV uses. In microbiology, shape is very important, and even the subtlest change in shape would make a drug useless.

    Most of the work in HIV drugs is catching up with these mutations. Work on a vaccine or a sliver bullet drug have been talked about ever since we had a name for HIV. If we do find a vaccine or cure, I'm gonna run naked through the streets partying. Anyone is welcome to join.


    These are very good questions, please keep them coming.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babymullet Ver 9.8 View Post
    -What has prevented the massive infection and deaths predicted?

    I'm a little unsure of your question here, because there has been a massive amount of infection and death. Could you explain your question a little more?
    It's a loaded question. He doesn't actually believe that HIV is a significant problem or possibly even a problem at all. Probably just something hyped by the media. What he forgets is that HIV is not spread in the air or by touch, so it cannot overwhelm a population like the flu can (ex. the Spanish Flu that killed 20 to 100 million people). So it's not going to have the same dramatic effect. It's death will be slower.

    At the same time, it's a more certain death. I was reading a few articles in the recent Scientific American about HIV, and the way in disables the immune system is fascinating. Human biology is truly ill-equipped in the face of this disease. My understanding also is that even if you could disable the virus, say using drugs that prevent transcription, you still aren't cured. The virus will hide away in your cells for a very long time, and once the treatment wears off or must stop due to complications, you're toast. All current drugs do is slow the inevitable decline. It's interesting, because HIV targets memory tcells so aggressively, meaning even if you had the immune cells to fight a common disease, you're body wouldn't remember how to do so. The fact of the virus' mutation means that by the time your whole body can recognize a particular strain of HIV, much of it has already changed into something unrecognizable. Very devious indeed.

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