The HIV Epidemic
The HIV virus, which causes AIDS, was first recognized as a new and distinct clinical entity in 1981. Since then it has become a universal epidemic concerning all of mankind.(3) This epidemic is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, also known as HIV. HIV belongs to the retrovirus family, a family of RNA viruses noted for possession of a viral reverse transcriptase.(2) Reverse transcriptase allows a retrovirus to synthesize DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) from their RNA. HIV like all viruses replicates inside a host cell. By seizing a host cell, the HIV virus starts with the entry into the host cell. The host cell is a cell with a surface molecule called cluster designation 4 or CD4.(2) These molecules are known as CD4+ cells. The virus surface molecules, which are classified as glycoprotein protrude from the surface of the virus and bind tightly to the CD4+ molecule on the cell surface. The membranes of the cell and virus then fuse together.
The next process the virus undergoes is reverse transcription and DNA synthesis. The HIV virus releases the enzyme, reverse transcriptase, which converts viral RNA into
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