Misconception of an argument or concept is often raised due to lack of proper education. In order to avoid misconception, it is crucial to engage in awareness. Awareness is the first step in educating the public by removing negative connotation and improper theories and properly providing information that pertains to a certain argument or model.
This goes from providing information by a nurse to an expecting patient to educating the general public on vaccinations. Further, a great example of large spread misconception is vaccinations. Due to our current season, there is much awareness being raised for vaccinations as this supports the human body in avoiding the flu via the flu shot. However, there are those who believe that vaccinations either cause an increase in sickness or even cause autism, and believing without supportive evidence.
Additionally, because Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) causes such a large impact on our society, as these viruses do around the globe, many understand the virus incorrectly, thus the important for proper awareness for both HIV and AIDS. From the general structural construction, symptoms and treatment, to the simple cause of either virus, HIV does not cause AIDS in the immediate condition most assume from the virus.
HIV does Not lead to AIDS when consuming the proper medications
Research has shown that when taking the proper medications continuously at the proper dosage, it can significantly decrease the chances of HIV progression to AIDS (CDC, 2017). Medication does not cure the virus, but slows progression throughout the body. Because HIV is considered to be a retrovirus, the drugs that are used for treatment are referred to as antiretrovirals, and these drugs are prescribed with other antiretrovirals. Due to the effectiveness of the medication, the number of deaths has annually decreased, and deaths related to AIDS has also dropped over the last two decades.
When individuals get infected with HIV, it does not immediately lead to AIDS. However, HIV causes the body’s immune system to be weakened. This weak immune system allows for flu-like symptoms to enter the body, causing viral replications and eventually bringing the body to a normal viral stage. At this point, it is crucial to start the proper medication, and by consuming the proper medication HIV should not progress to AIDS. With the ideal medication, individuals can live a healthy, prolonged life, without having AIDS. When individuals have AIDS, their immune system is severely damaged, allowing opportunistic infections to enter the body, which leads to the deadly stage of AIDS (CDC, 2017).
HIV Particles Do Not Cause AIDS, Our Own Immune Cells Do
Researchers at the Gladstone Center for HIV Cure research have uncovered that HIV does not trigger development of AIDS by corrupting the host’s immune cells, but likely through the cell’s fatal influence on one another. HIV can only be transmitted by a free- floating virus that infects an immune cell host or through contamination from an infected cell to a non-infected cell. Cell-to-cell contamination is one-hundred to one-thousand times more likely to trigger a suicidal cellular chain reaction (Smith, 2015).
As explained by Gilad Doitsh, Phd, a staff researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, the paramount ‘killing units’ of the CD4 T cells located in the lymphoid tissues are other infected cells, and not the free virus (Smith, 2015). The dominant HIV death passage is required to be activated by cell to cell transmission. Scientists have also discovered that most HIV cell death occurs from an unsuccessful infection, and immune cells are eliminated in the self-defense attempt to withstand the infection. A virus tries to infect a cell that is at rest, triggering termination of the infection. However, the cell’s host detects remains from the virus and stimulates the cell’s defense system.
The enzyme caspase-1 is activated and results in the initiation of pyroptosis, a programmed cell death form (Smith, 2015). Cell-to-cell transmission of HIV advance to CD4 T cell termination than it does by a free-floating virus. For cell death to occur, there must be present contamination of infected cells to non-infected cells. To test the finding, researchers distressed viral transfer through some procedures such as genetic modification the virus, application of chemical HIV interceptions, blocking inter-cellular synapses, and increasing the distance between the cells so they could not encounter one another (Smith, 2015).
From testing results, researchers found was that the physical separation of the cells effectively stopped CD4 T cells death (Smith, 2015). Also, caspase-1 was only activated during cell-to-cell transmission within the target cells, whilst initiating an immediate response of cell suicide. Warner C. Greene, MD, PhD, whom is the director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, explains such study develops our overall mindset about HIV in relation to cell death and places focus on the infected cells in the lymphoid tissues, rather than the free virus. “By preventing cell-to-cell transmission, we may able to block the death pathway and stop the progression from HIV infection to AIDS.” (Smith, 2015).
Exhibit A: The non-progressing HIV status of Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced he was HIV positive on November 7, 1991. He was a professional basketball player and played for the Los Angeles Lakers at the time of his announcement. He had achieved nine NBA finals and played on five championship teams. He was a three-time most valuable player and three-time MVP of the finals. The announcement by Mr. Johnson, one of the most popular and accomplished players in basketball, stunned the nation and drove home the message that heterosexuals are in danger of getting AIDS. (Sims, 1991)
The number of people who got tested for HIV increased by almost sixty percent in New York City and rose abruptly throughout the nation in the month Magic Johnson announced that he was infected with the virus. (Sims, 1991) Magic Johnson was a newlywed when he found out he was HIV positive, and his wife was expecting a baby when she found out about his diagnosis. Following testing results, and as studies indicate, it was confirmed that if the mother is negative, then the baby is automatically negative. (Johnson, 2016) Magic Johnson became a spokesman for the HIV virus, and has taken antiretroviral medication since his diagnosis and is currently taking reverse transcriptase inhibitor and protease inhibitor drugs, which are contained in the pharmaceuticals Trizivir and Kaletra, respectively, as reported by Newsweek. (Hadhazy, 2011)
He has lived with HIV for 27 years and is now 59 years old he is a successful sports analyst and business man. Further, Earvin “Magic” Johnson is an example of an individual who has contracted HIV, but with proper medication did not develop AIDS, even after a twenty-seven year diagnosis. Even though many cases show a patient to develop AIDS within ten years of contracting HIV, this case indicates that not all HIV develops into AIDS. ‘There is nothing unique about Magic, but without medications, he’d be progressing’ said Spencer Lieb, senior epidemiologist and HIV/AIDS research coordinator for the Florida Consortium for HIV/AIDS Research.” (Hadhazy, 2011)
Disproving Koch’s Postulates: Four Rules to Determine HIV is the Absolute Cause of AIDS
Even though there is an increased verification suggesting that HIV causes AIDS in all cases, there are studies arguing against this idea by exemplifying that AIDS is not necessarily caused by HIV by an uninterrupted and continuous format. In order to evidence this argument, the four arguments of the Koch’s postulates are used. These four arguments are used to determine a theory if microorganisms do cause a disease. The first rule requires that the microbe be present in all organisms that are showing symptoms, which recognizes that something is sick.
Expanding the first rule, symptoms must be present under conditions that can account for the compulsive abrasions and the proven course of the disease. However, there is not a free virus in most, and very little in some of these cases. This is for those who carry AIDS. In 1993, the Centers of Disease Control and Preventions reviewed over 230 thousand cases in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Out of these cases, only forty-seven people tests HIV-negative, proving that symptoms are not found in all infected organisms. Further, the second rule explains that the microbe must be removed from the organism and grown outside its host, via isolation of the microbe.
Even though there are studies that demonstrate HIV can be isolated to the most thorough standards of prevailing virology, the studies claiming that the virus was isolated are claimed based on the detection of reverse transcriptase activity in material settling at a specific density. The criteria lose significance if the data is not supported by electron microscopy verification, which will exclude the interference of non-viral contaminants. Expanding on the third rule, the next step is taking the isolated microbe and using it to infect a healthy host.
Results of the newly infected host must show the same symptoms as the original host. Because there are cases in which the host has AIDS, but does not have HIV, it can be expected that there are other cases of immune suppression, cases with sporadic cases of late-onset cellular immunodeficiency, and so there would be AIDS-like disease without HIV. In the same 1993 CDC report presenting forty-seven cases with HIV-negative symptoms, linked no evidence to traditional risk factors for HIV infection.
Finally, the fourth rule of Koch’s postulates determines that the same microbe from the newly infected must be able to be isolated. If the first three postulates cannot be proven to its full extent, then the fourth cannot be exemplified, as the fourth postulate is the continuous isolation of the virus and spread of infection into a new host. Even though some cases fall under proving the Koch’s postulates, not all cases apply, as symptoms and progression vary.
The study of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Human Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has developed over the last decade, and not only in the ability to provide improved and in-depth research, but also in increasing awareness on the subject with the general public. Even though evidence supports that HIV does cause AIDS in most cases, there is also evidence contradicting this statement, whereas HIV does not always cause AIDS. That is, HIV does not cause AIDS in the manner that the majority of studies indicate. This can be identified via statistical evidence and individual persons who have suffered with this virus. In order for a confirmed diagnosis be reached, awareness of the subject must be increased.