About The Journal
AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a syndrome caused by a virus known as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The illness alters the immune system, making people more exposed to infections, diseases and eventually causes death. The global scenario of AIDS is alarming and number of infected patients is regularly increasing. HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person (blood, semen and vaginal fluids breast milk). The virus is passed from one person to another through sexual contact and blood-to-blood. In addition, infected pregnant women may pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy, during childbirth, and through breast feeding.
Extensive clinical contribution is necessary starting from detection to therapy. Although, therapeutic procedures such as HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) is existing but constant challenge is being faced due to the evolution of the virus.
We appreciates the articles in the nature of research & review, case reports, short notes as well as commentaries on relevant topics. We accept the articles if they meet the scientific standards and have undergone peer review without compromising the quality of journal.
Advances in HIV Tests
There are a number of technologies that detect HIV itself. Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, HIV tests have improved considerably. Now we have multiple methods to test for HIV infection, and today’s testing technologies are getting better at detecting new infections. ELISA, ELISA dongle,Window period, Rapid or point-of-care tests, Western blot, Accuracy of HIV testing, interpreting antibody tests, are the Antibody tests. Some other methods for HIV testing are Nucleic acid-based tests, Screening, Antigen tests, Oral tests, AIDS denialism CD4 T-cell count.
HIV around the world
HIV disease considered to be a serious health issue around the world. Worldwide, there were about 2 million new cases of HIV in 2014. Near about 36.9 million people are infected with HIV virus around the world and as of June 2015, around 15.8 million people infected with HIV virus were receiving medicines to treat HIV, called antiretroviral therapy (ART). Approximately 1.2 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2014. Since 2000, around 25.3 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses. Out of 100 people infected with new HIV/AIDS 66 people belong to Sub-Saharan Africa;other regions significantly affected by HIV/AIDS include Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
Advances in HIV Diagnosis
Tests used for the diagnosis of HIV infection in a particular person needs a high degree of both sensitivity and specificity. In the United States, diagnosis is achieved using an algorithm combining two tests for HIV antibodies. If antibodies are detected by an initial test based on the ELISA method, then another test using the Western blot procedure determines the size of the antigens in the test kit binding to the antibodies. Improved methods of HIV testing could identify those who have recently acquired HIV infection and are at very critical stage of infectivity.
An HIV vaccine is a vaccine which would protect individuals who do not have HIV from contracting that virus and may have a healing effect for persons who have or later contract HIV/AIDS. Vaccines are available for protection against polio, smallpox, measles, and yellow fever but not for the HIV. Currently we do not have effective vaccine which can protect effectively human immune system from HIV virus but scientist are working to find out the vaccine to protect human from HIV infection.
Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to treat HIV/AIDS
HIV/ AIDS is one of the prime causes of adult deaths in the developing world. Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) is a treatment developed for HIV/AIDS. Newer improvements such as one-pill-a-day drugs are making life with HIV infected person safer and easier. It does not cure the disease, however it can be helpful for the below
- It reduce opportunistic infections.
- It can increase life expectancy.
- It reduce the likelihood that an infected individual transmits the virus to another
Innovative HIV drugs
Biopharmaceutical companies are working aggressively on improving treatment regimens, preventive vaccines and more effective therapies that are either in clinical trials or awaiting review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- A first-in-class medicine helps to prevent HIV from breaking through the plasma membrane
- A cell therapy that helps to modify a patient’s own cells in an attempt to make them resistant to HIV.
- A therapeutic vaccine designed to bring on responses from T cells which play a role in immune protection against viral infections
Advanced HIV Infection Preventive Measures
HIV is a very serious issue now days. To aware the people nations are committed to provide easy access to HIV screening and medical care.
- Act against AIDS (AAA) is an initiative started by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House to combat complacency about HIV and AIDS in the United States of America. Launched in 2009, Act against AIDS focuses on raising awareness among all Americans and reducing the risk of infection among the hardest-hit populations –African Americans, gay and bisexual men, Latinos, and other communities at increased risk.
- Affordable Care Act will increase health coverage for thousands of low income people living with HIV?
- The AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) provide HIV-related prescription drugs to low-income individuals in USA.
Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAAT)
HAART a term used in the late 1990s where combination drug therapies used for treatment of HIV. Prior to HAART, the use of one or two antiretroviral drugs was unable to deliver success for treatment of HIV infected patient. Due to introduction of protease inhibitors in 1996 doctors were able to combine three or more drug agents in a way which effectively stopped HIV from replicating at different points in its life cycle. With the help of HAART doctors and scientists were able to control 50% death case related to AIDS in US and Europe region in the span of three short years (1995-1999). HAART is also popularly known as a “triple drug cocktail” or “triple therapy”.
It is a process of gathering all relevant data about the organization and its staff in the organization. Risk analysis mainly focuses on identifying characteristics of HIV and AIDS.It helps to identify staffs risk towards HIV/AIDS. The risk analysis could be conducted at organization level by assigning variables such as hazard, vulnerability, and capacity. The risk analysis is derived by multiplying the hazard and vulnerability divided by capacity. An organization can reduce its risk by reducing its vulnerability and providing a safe environment to work with.
HIV/AIDS Risk Index
There are 43 countries which are considered as ‘high’ or ‘extreme risk’ HIV/AIDS Risk Index and out of which 38 countries located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Top 10 counties as per HIV/AIDS Risk Index are 1) Mozambique 2)Uganda 3) Zambia 4) Tanzania 5) Kenya 6) Zimbabwe 7)Malawi 8) Cameroon 9) Chad 10) Nigeria . Countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Russia and India ranks 32, 40,41,43. The mining industry in Africa is highly vulnerable to the aids epidemic, primarily because miners have high levels of interaction with sex workers and move from one high risk environment to another in search of work.
Types of HIV/AIDS Antiretroviral Drugs
There are six major types of drugs used for treatment of HIV/AIDS known as antiretroviral because they act against the retrovirus HIV; these drugs are grouped as per their interference with steps in HIV replication.
- Entry Inhibitors: They interfere with the virus’s ability to bind to receptors on the outer surface of the cell it tries to enter
- Fusion Inhibitors: They interfere with the virus’s ability to fuse with a cellular membrane, preventing HIV from entering a cell.
- Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors: They prevent the HIV enzyme reverse transcriptase (RT) from converting single-stranded HIV RNA into double-stranded HIV DNA―a process called reverse transcription. RT inhibitors is divided into two types :1) Nucleoside/nucleotide RT inhibitors (NRTIs) 2) Non-nucleoside RT inhibitors (NNRTIs)
- Integrate Inhibitors: They block the HIV enzyme integrase, which the virus uses to integrate its genetic material into the DNA of the cell it has infected.
- Protease Inhibitors: They interfere with the HIV enzyme called protease, which generally cuts long chains of HIV proteins into smaller individual proteins. When protease does not work perfectly, new virus particles cannot be assembled
- Multi-class Combination Products: They combine HIV drugs from two or more different classes, or types, into a single product.
Source (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services • National Institutes of Health)
HIV Superinfection occurs when an HIV-positive person is re-infected with a new strain of HIV. The second strain co-exists with the first and may cause more rapid disease progression or carry medication. Super Infection is also known as dual infection, co-infection. Unprotected sex among HIV+ partners and sharing of needle may result HIV superinfection.
How HIV is transmitted HIV can be transmitted through following behaviors
- By having sex. You may become infected if you have anal, vaginal or oral sex with an infected partner whose semen,blood, or vaginal secretions enter your body.
- From blood transfusions. In some cases, the virus may be transmitted through blood transfusions.
- By sharing needles. HIV can be transmitted through syringes and needles contaminated with HIV infected blood.
- During pregnancy or delivery or through breast-feeding. There is high chance that HIV Infected mothers can infect their babies during pregnancy or delivery or through breast-feeding. Proper treatment should be given to mother during pregnancy so that the baby will not get infected to HIV virus.
HIV drug resistance
Once a person becomes infected with HIV, the virus starts to multiply (make copies of itself) in the body. As HIV multiplies, the virus sometimes mutates (changes form) and produces variations of it. The ability of HIV to mutate and reproduce the copy of it in the presence of antiretroviral drugs is called HIV drug resistance (HIVDR). Variations of HIV that gets develop while a person is taking HIV medicines may lead to drug-resistant strains of HIV.
HIV medicines that were able to previously control the person’s HIV may not be effective against the new, drug-resistant HIV. In other words, the HIV medicines will not be able to prevent the drug-resistant HIV from multiplying. Drug resistance can cause HIV treatment to fail.
Currently, WHO is developing a new five-year global action plan for 2016-2021 to support a coordinated international effort to monitor, prevent and respond to the emergence of HIV drug resistance, and to strengthen country efforts to achieve the global HIV targets.