Researchers believe that the HIV/AIDS virus originally came from the chimpanzees’ simian immunodeficiency virus after humans consumed the primate’s infected meat that then mutated into becoming what humans know today as HIV – a sexually transmitted disease that eventually becomes AIDS.
There are two kinds of HIV viruses – HIV-1 and HIV-2. The more common of the two is HIV-1, with HIV-2 reported in various areas of West Africa. Both viruses get into the CD4 cells DNA, inserting their own DNA-genes, which continues to infect a person the rest of their life. The virus continues to replicate and multiply, killing off the body’s immune system until it’s so weak it cannot stave off infections and certain kinds of cancer.
The CD4 cells are attacked by the HIV-1 virus, using the cells to replicate itself. The more cells that become damaged, the weaker the body becomes. Once enough CD4 cells have been damaged, the person is said to be in the AIDS stage, which is life-threatening.
How Does A Person Become Infected With The HIV/AIDS Virus?
- Sharing sharp objects such as needles, drug injections, tattoo piercings, etc.
- Childbirth – passed from mother to child
- Breastfeeding – passed from mother to child
- During sex when bodily fluids are exchanged
- Oral sex where blood in the saliva or open mouth sores.
A doctor will test for HIV and, if positive, start the patient on anti-retroviral drugs depending on the kind of virus they are inflicted with. The drugs are designed to reduce the virus’ ability to replicate itself and multiply. It can also hinder the progression to the AIDS stage.