How HIV Develops – Early Detection Prevents Future High Risk Behaviour

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is similar to other viruses like the flu or the common cold. However, the greatest difference is that in time most other viruses are cured by your immune system. This is not the case with HIV because you immune system cannot clear the virus from your body. Several scientists today still ponder the reason for this.

This virus may hide in the cells of the body for a long time, attacking an important part of your immune system, which is the T-cells. Your body needs T-cells to fight off disease and infection, but HIV uses the cells to replicate itself, then destroys them and spreads throughout the body. HIV connects to the T-cells, allowing the virus’ capsid, which contains RNA strands and three enzymes, to get into the cells. Using two of the enzymes, the human genome is changed and one of the enzymes makes the RNA suitable for standard DNA. Another enzyme inserts the virus into human DNA and the cells become a virtual virus factory. The third enzyme breaks down proteins. Over time, the body loses the ability to fight and the HIV infection may lead to full-blown AIDS, or Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

HIV self-testing is responsible because it not only affects your health, but also helps to prevent the spread of the virus to others. For example, if you are not infected, but your sexual partner is, you can avoid contracting the virus by refraining from intimacy and risky behaviour. In addition, even though there is not currently a cure for HIV, several treatments are available once the presence of the virus has been detected that will lessen the effects and prolong life. These days, people from ten to eighty are engaging in sexual intercourse and many with multiple partners, which further increases the risk of HIV as well as numerous other sexually transmitted diseases. It is common to be sexually active with one person, break up with that person and quickly become sexually active with another person. Failing to self-test for HIV in between sexual partners can ignite a wildfire effect, leading to the infection of others before you even know you are infected. HIV is not limited by sex, age, race or residence, which means every person on the planet is susceptible to infection. Therefore, regular self-testing is crucial to preventing the spread of HIV.