Origins of the HIV and AIDS Pandemic

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) belongs to a family of viruses called the lentiviruses; it is a Retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition that causes the degeneration of the immune system. This leaves an individual more prone to opportunistic infections and some forms of cancers. HIV/AIDS is transmitted through the contact of infected Blood, semen, vaginal fluid and through breast milk; the most common way that HIV/AIDS is spread through sexual intercourse with an infected person. This paper will look at the history of HIV/AIDS, the distribution, how the HIV/AIDS infects the host and how it targets the immune system (Sharp & Hahn, 2011).

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