Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Authored by: Mohan Kumar Haleyur Giri Setty , Indira K. Hewlett

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), 1 which destroys CD4+ T lymphocytes of the immune system that prevent infections. HIV is transmitted in humans through specific body fluids—blood, semen, genital fluids, and breast milk. Having unprotected sex and sharing drug needles with an HIV-infected individual are the most common ways by which the virus is transmitted. Some body fluids, including saliva, sweat, or tears, have not been shown to transmit HIV. 2,3 AIDS has had a major impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. The disease has also had significant economic impact. AIDS is one of the most serious global health problems of unprecedented dimensions and is one of the greatest modern pandemics. At the end of 2010, an estimated 34 million people were living with HIV globally, including 3.4 million children under 15 years of age. There were 2.7 million new HIV infections in 2010, including 390,000 among children less than 15 years. 4

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