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Thread: HIV pandemic

  1. #1 HIV pandemic 
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    With our ethnics regarding sex eroding with time, how far are we from a world where HIV becomes so rampant that it has infected at least 50% to 75% of the world?

    And what kind of conditions will allow this to happen and how will life be like in such a society before, during and after the pandemic?


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    I have to disagree that "eroding ethics" will make HIV rampant. In fact, if abstinence-only teaching that makes sex seem like a mysterious, secret, almost bad thing is replaced with an open and educated attitude about sex, then taking the time to make sure potential partners are clean could become more common and make sexual transfer of HIV less common. The countries where HIV is a biggest problem have large populations of uneducated people with mistaken ideas about sex and STDs. One such idea was the notion that having sex with a virgin cured HIV. You can see how that would be detrimental to fighting HIV.

    In my opinion, HIV would only infect 75% of the world if it mutated in a way that allowed it to spread more easily. As it is now, I think education and medical advances will be able to stamp it out in the future.


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    Well in my country at the tip of the malayan penisular anyone will HIV is not allowed to hide their status of "infected" while in USA it is a alright to hide your infected status.

    The problem is some people tend to take the route of "irresponsiblity" or maybe they are not even aware of their condition in the first place!

    I have a friend who volunteered in a HIV center of some sort. He told me that many people in modern countries get HIV during their teens rather than extra martial affairs. Many mature and responsible adults present were once young and naive and get into trouble with the opposite gender, and it is during this "young and naive" period they catch HIV.

    Like it or not, it is a fact that we all used to make big blunders in our teens and so from those blunders we mature into adults. But if the big blunder is so big like a record from juvenile delinquency or something like HIV, it's like a scar follow you to your grave.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttyo888
    Well in my country at the tip of the malayan penisular anyone will HIV is not allowed to hide their status of "infected" while in USA it is a alright to hide your infected status.
    You don't have to walk around wearing a sign saying you have HIV in the states, but it is a persecutable crime if you have HIV and do not inform your partners of that fact.

    The problem is some people tend to take the route of "irresponsiblity" or maybe they are not even aware of their condition in the first place!

    I have a friend who volunteered in a HIV center of some sort. He told me that many people in modern countries get HIV during their teens rather than extra martial affairs. Many mature and responsible adults present were once young and naive and get into trouble with the opposite gender, and it is during this "young and naive" period they catch HIV.

    Like it or not, it is a fact that we all used to make big blunders in our teens and so from those blunders we mature into adults. But if the big blunder is so big like a record from juvenile delinquency or something like HIV, it's like a scar follow you to your grave.
    Young people being irresponsible and naive is not the same as degrading ethics being the primary cause of the spread of HIV across the world. Just because many people with HIV caught it when they are young does not mean that all young people will catch HIV.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    You don't have to walk around wearing a sign saying you have HIV in the states, but it is a persecutable crime if you have HIV and do not inform your partners of that fact.

    Young people being irresponsible and naive is not the same as degrading ethics being the primary cause of the spread of HIV across the world. Just because many people with HIV caught it when they are young does not mean that all young people will catch HIV.
    I see thanks for the clearing the misunderstanding.

    But anyway the problem is that most people think they do not have HIV only to discover it only when they are older and get married that sorta thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith

    You don't have to walk around wearing a sign saying you have HIV in the states, but it is a persecutable crime if you have HIV and do not inform your partners of that fact.
    "Persecutable"? Freudian slip? :P

    Actually, don't mean to be pedantic but simply add a point or two.

    If HIV reaches pandemic proportions (whether or not through rampant promiscuity) I believe we will more than likely see it become a lot less malign. Yes, it will seriously affect, and even kill, many of the people it touches but I believe that its own versatility and generally slow incubation rates may make it, in each succeeding generation, less and less virulent until it will be pandemic, but pandemic like the common cold - everybody will go through it at some stage, or everybody will be a carrier.

    For some reason I find it hard to believe that it will actually succeed in denting the human population in a significant way. But that may just be me...
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith

    You don't have to walk around wearing a sign saying you have HIV in the states, but it is a persecutable crime if you have HIV and do not inform your partners of that fact.
    "Persecutable"? Freudian slip? :P
    whoops! I guess so, haha. "Prosecutable." ^_^

    Actually, don't mean to be pedantic but simply add a point or two.

    If HIV reaches pandemic proportions (whether or not through rampant promiscuity) I believe we will more than likely see it become a lot less malign. Yes, it will seriously affect, and even kill, many of the people it touches but I believe that its own versatility and generally slow incubation rates may make it, in each succeeding generation, less and less virulent until it will be pandemic, but pandemic like the common cold - everybody will go through it at some stage, or everybody will be a carrier.

    For some reason I find it hard to believe that it will actually succeed in denting the human population in a significant way. But that may just be me...
    I agree that's definitely possible. Especially considering the combination of your points with medical advances in treatment. Even now people with AIDs can live relatively normal lives with the right medication regime. But either way, I doubt it will make a big dent either.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    STDs never reach pandemic conditions in modern countries, society will always become paranoid and attack the problem before it could reach that level. If it even started to affect 20-30% of the population there would be manditory testing, and you probably would start seeing people with signs around their necks >.>.

    I wouldn't think that natural immunity to HIV would develop within a short period because of the importance of the CD4 receptor, mutations in humanity to become resistant would be rare, and there isn't much selection pressure for a decrease in HIV virulence because it is already a pretty slow acting virus. Although, as our understanding of virology and molecular biology increases there will certainly be better drugs comming out in the future.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    there isn't much selection pressure for a decrease in HIV virulence because it is already a pretty slow acting virus.
    I'll admit I did wonder about that. Thanks.
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    As stated above, it is not HIV/AIDS itself that is so bad on its own, it is the lack of education that is the problem. A good case in point is Swaziland where a severe generation gap is developing. This is the cumulative effect of less effective (cheaper) anti-retrovirals, escalating cases of treatment-resistant TB and the prevalence of myth/superstition.

    Take a look HERE.

    Epidemic levels of simple denial is another factor. I have seen documentaries (can’t provide a source) depicting people continuing with unprotected promiscuity unabated by the fact that they have HIV and while knowing the consequences. Short of a possible cure, I don’t see much hope for sub-Saharan Africa. :x
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    You don't have to walk around wearing a sign saying you have HIV in the states, but it is a persecutable crime if you have HIV and do not inform your partners of that fact.
    "Persecutable"? Freudian slip? :P
    Damn. You beat me to it.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Epidemic levels of simple denial is another factor. I have seen documentaries (can’t provide a source) depicting people continuing with unprotected promiscuity unabated by the fact that they have HIV and while knowing the consequences. Short of a possible cure, I don’t see much hope for sub-Saharan Africa. :x
    I have the hugest of hopes for the Rainbow Nation, but I have to say that Thabo Mbeki made me almost weep for the South Africans he let down on this matter. But that's politics...

    And, yes, I agree that for sub-Saharan Africa at least, short of a cure or cheap long-term maintenance drugs, hope is slim.
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    And we might be getting an even worse president soon, Jacob Zuma. He even freely admitted in a court case to having had unprotected sex with someone half his age. I want to emigrate!

    From the wiki article:
    Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the former Deputy President of South Africa and current deputy president of the governing political party, the African National Congress (ANC) was charged with rape in the Johannesburg High Court on 6 December 2005. The accuser, a friend of Zuma's daughter, was known by Zuma to be HIV positive. On 8 May 2006, the Court dismissed the charges, agreeing that the sexual act in question was consensual. During the trial, Zuma admitted to having unprotected sex with his accuser but claimed that he took a shower afterwards to cut the risk of contracting HIV. This statement has been condemned by the judge, health experts, AIDS activists and the public in general.
    He could be the next president of the biggest economy in Africa. No hope.
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    "During the trial, Zuma admitted to having unprotected sex with his accuser but claimed that he took a shower afterwards to cut the risk of contracting HIV."

    And wasn't she underage too?

    I tend to agree - very little hope... I'm sorry for your magnificent country.
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    Ugh. What ignorance. Taking a shower afterwards is too little too late.

    I would like to add to your list of what might save sub-saharan Africa - serious and concerted educational reform.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    But anyway the problem is that most people think they do not have HIV only to discover it only when they are older and get married that sorta thing
    This is the reason why you always wanna protect yourself when you stick your protuberances in other's people orifices.
    There was an interesting bit on TV a couple of days ago. A tv-magazine wanted to see how severely a temporarily increased bloodflow to the male reproductive organs inhibits cerebral functions. The had a chick hit on men in bars and filmed it with hidden cameras. The lady indicated that she didn't like condoms at all but wanted sccrew around more or less right NOW. And lo and behold, almost 70% of the men she tried to pick up had no problems at all with this.
    Conclusion: the male body only has a limited amount of blood and if this is pumped to the nether regoins, higher brain functions cease immediately.

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    But how far are we till the point where HIV has spread so much that it is pointless to complete college.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttyo888
    But how far are we till the point where HIV has spread so much that it is pointless to complete college.
    What? You mean, until we all die before then? If you've been reading our earlier posts, I think it should be pretty clear that none of us think we will ever get to that point, or anywhere near it, with HIV.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Ironically the gay population has HIV pretty well under control now. They had to face the problem seriously. And most gays are very levelheaded and articulate about sex.

    I think a big risk factor is denial. We're going to see that in groups whom view sex as a sinful lapse. If they need to believe their passions overwhelmed them, when they have sex, of course they can't betray premeditation. They can't use condoms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Ironically the gay population has HIV pretty well under control now. They had to face the problem seriously. And most gays are very levelheaded and articulate about sex.

    I think a big risk factor is denial. We're going to see that in groups whom view sex as a sinful lapse. If they need to believe their passions overwhelmed them, when they have sex, of course they can't betray premeditation. They can't use condoms.
    I don't know, I attended a lecture by Dr. Tsoukas a couple weeks ago, and he is one of the leading AIDS researchers in Canada. He's been seeing an increase in HIV infection in the last 4-5 years amongst gays around 18-25 because the fear of the disease isn't nearly as high as it used to be. I think education is definitely the problem, if they showed the clinical pictures of people dying from AIDS I've seen in countless lectures, people would be a lot more careful.

    The problem today in the west is that there are many people who have never lived through a period where people were dropping like flies from AIDS, the medication has done a lot to turn it into a "slow acting" virus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Ironically the gay population has HIV pretty well under control now. They had to face the problem seriously. And most gays are very levelheaded and articulate about sex.

    I think a big risk factor is denial. We're going to see that in groups whom view sex as a sinful lapse. If they need to believe their passions overwhelmed them, when they have sex, of course they can't betray premeditation. They can't use condoms.
    I don't know, I attended a lecture by Dr. Tsoukas a couple weeks ago, and he is one of the leading AIDS researchers in Canada. He's been seeing an increase in HIV infection in the last 4-5 years amongst gays around 18-25 because the fear of the disease isn't nearly as high as it used to be. I think education is definitely the problem, if they showed the clinical pictures of people dying from AIDS I've seen in countless lectures, people would be a lot more careful.

    The problem today in the west is that there are many people who have never lived through a period where people were dropping like flies from AIDS, the medication has done a lot to turn it into a "slow acting" virus.
    Some commentators in the UK are saying similar things = AIDS isn't as far gone as we might hope, and people in high-risk sexual activities are still not being careful enough.

    Perhaps we're just discounting the future to a higher level than before?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Some commentators in the UK are saying similar things = AIDS isn't as far gone as we might hope, and people in high-risk sexual activities are still not being careful enough.

    Perhaps we're just discounting the future to a higher level than before?
    I think there are many dynamics of the gay community which contribute to the return of HIV. Mostly the closed nature of it, and the lack of expossure for youths. Most gay teenagers are never taught how to have safe gay relationships while in high school, along with the pressure to be secretive this is asking for disaster. Although, there would probably be public outrage if schools attempted to teach stuff like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Although, there would probably be public outrage if schools attempted to teach stuff like this.
    The roots of the problem run deep, don't they? I suppose if we consider that much of modern society is dogmatically backwards and that education, the best answer to the HIV problem, may be much more difficult than it should, then perhaps the situation is more dire then we'd hope.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Although, there would probably be public outrage if schools attempted to teach stuff like this.
    The roots of the problem run deep, don't they? I suppose if we consider that much of modern society is dogmatically backwards and that education, the best answer to the HIV problem, may be much more difficult than it should, then perhaps the situation is more dire then we'd hope.
    That's always the issue with sexually transmitted diseases, the solution in Africa is the same as the solution in Europe and North America, education. With the added barrier of poverty in Africa. Also, most research on HIV is done on the strains common in North America and Western Europe.

    There is also the issue of the rising HIV infection rate in Eastern Europe and China.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttyo888
    But how far are we till the point where HIV has spread so much that it is pointless to complete college.
    No I meant that since the young are catching the disease earlier they might die younger. But of course in reality most do not die. But it might come to a point where, the younger generation gets killed off slowly until...... well you can guess the rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    education, the best answer to the HIV problem,
    When I hear statements like this I wonder if there is any evidence for it, or if it's just something that sounds like it should be true. Not saying it isn't true, just asking what the evidence is.

    We read an example above where the vast majority of a group of men were quite willing to engage in unprotected sex. What education or information do you think they were lacking?
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    See my signature. And I think this IS a really good point. I do not know about the situation in school where I live right now, but when I went to High School (a couple of winters have come and went since then) we learned a lot about mitosis and meiosis and the development of embryos from blastocysts to the time of birth. But our teacher (close to retirement at this time) did never ever ONCE touch the subject of birth controll or VDs (HIV was not rampant back then). All I knew by that time time I learned from hearsay by buddies, the Playboy and urban myths. From I all know the curriculum didn't change much in that respect. I guess there's a difference between what the general population think teens know about sex and what they actually know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    education, the best answer to the HIV problem,
    When I hear statements like this I wonder if there is any evidence for it, or if it's just something that sounds like it should be true. Not saying it isn't true, just asking what the evidence is.

    We read an example above where the vast majority of a group of men were quite willing to engage in unprotected sex. What education or information do you think they were lacking?
    That's a good point, Harold. I guess it's not just education or information per say, but also a reform of attitudes about sex. People need to both be aware of the real danger of HIV infection (since, as others have mentioned, many people probably think it's not as risky as it used to be) and the consequences of having the virus, and to find it acceptable that you ensure your partner is clean before you jump into bed. Obviously this applies for any STD, not just HIV. There's a lot of things that could be done to help the situation (as I won't deny there will always be some people out there who don't take care), such as making protection freely and easily available, that many people would object to because it would "promote promiscuity" and the like. Attitudes like that definitely don't help.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    People need to both be aware of the real danger of HIV infection (since, as others have mentioned, many people probably think it's not as risky as it used to be) and the consequences of having the virus, and to find it acceptable that you ensure your partner is clean before you jump into bed. Obviously this applies for any STD
    There are, alas, folk beliefs who sex with a virgin cures STDs. I know because I was quoted it by a bloke in India. And I believe that it is current amongst some communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

    I believe it actually contributes to the high infection rates among younger women - and how will you 'educate' out of it someone who is sure that it is the only way to propitiate the spirits on behalf of his body?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    People need to both be aware of the real danger of HIV infection (since, as others have mentioned, many people probably think it's not as risky as it used to be) and the consequences of having the virus, and to find it acceptable that you ensure your partner is clean before you jump into bed. Obviously this applies for any STD
    There are, alas, folk beliefs who sex with a virgin cures STDs. I know because I was quoted it by a bloke in India. And I believe that it is current amongst some communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

    I believe it actually contributes to the high infection rates among younger women - and how will you 'educate' out of it someone who is sure that it is the only way to propitiate the spirits on behalf of his body?
    Yes, there are a lot of serious misconceptions about HIV and other STDs in Africa. I've heard the virgin one before; another one I heard was that members of the Masai tribe believed that Masai simply can't get HIV. Though I think that one is losing credibility because AIDS is starting to ravage Masai communities. I've also heard that many Africans think HIV is a myth being perpetuated by the US for some nefarious reason or another.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    A little side-track: How long does an infected cell live? I know the virus converts the cell into a virus factory and then churns out virusses, but does not kill the cell outright, as the virusses bud out of the cell.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    It can vary because retro-viruses can have varying latent stages from 2 weeks to 20 years.

    On the topic of education, sites like these make me a little sick...

    http://www.rebirth.co.za/hiv_does_not_cause_aids2.htm
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    Oh dear. Let's not even get into the HIV/AIDS deniers. They kind of boggle the mind.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    It can vary because retro-viruses can have varying latent stages from 2 weeks to 20 years.
    Ok, but how much does HIV vary? As far as I know, human cells die fairly regularly and then get replaced to the effect that a human body can be almost entirely comprised of new cells after about a 7 year period. So in this time cells with HIV viruses inside have to die. What then happens to the virus? Does it get eaten along with the dead cell or does it bud and infect another? In what type of cell do they usually reside and what is the half-life of that type of tissue cell?
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  36. #35  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    It can vary because retro-viruses can have varying latent stages from 2 weeks to 20 years.
    Ok, but how much does HIV vary? As far as I know, human cells die fairly regularly and then get replaced to the effect that a human body can be almost entirely comprised of new cells after about a 7 year period. So in this time cells with HIV viruses inside have to die. What then happens to the virus? Does it get eaten along with the dead cell or does it bud and infect another? In what type of cell do they usually reside and what is the half-life of that type of tissue cell?
    Because HIV is a retrovirus, it basically inserts it's genome into the genome of the cell. Thus, when the cell divides and creates daughter cells, when it copies it's own genome, the viruses' genome gets copied as well. Thus, even though the original parent cell will eventually die, any daughter cells it already made to replace itself will carry the viral genome.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  37. #36  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    It can vary because retro-viruses can have varying latent stages from 2 weeks to 20 years.
    Ok, but how much does HIV vary? As far as I know, human cells die fairly regularly and then get replaced to the effect that a human body can be almost entirely comprised of new cells after about a 7 year period. So in this time cells with HIV viruses inside have to die. What then happens to the virus? Does it get eaten along with the dead cell or does it bud and infect another? In what type of cell do they usually reside and what is the half-life of that type of tissue cell?
    Because HIV is a retrovirus, it basically inserts it's genome into the genome of the cell. Thus, when the cell divides and creates daughter cells, when it copies it's own genome, the viruses' genome gets copied as well. Thus, even though the original parent cell will eventually die, any daughter cells it already made to replace itself will carry the viral genome.
    This is true, also T cells have lifespans of about 20 years anyway, and HIV only becomes active in activated T cells. It usually can wipe out a person's memory T cells quite fast in the mucosal layers and the circulating T cells last a while.
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