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A&P Pathophysiology Paper

HIV/AIDS was discovered in 1981 and has evolved widely, creating health challenges. Approximately a population of 34 million are currently living with HIV nationwide. The first case was identified in MSM in Western Europe and the United States (De Cock et al.,2012). In sub-Saharan Africa, the epidemic has highly impacted the nation, whereby most of the transmission occurs among heterosexuals. One-third of global HIV infections have been represented among the nine countries in Southern Africa, where it accounts for less than 2% of the nationwide population. There are various signs and symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS epidemic, which include a sore throat, a red rash that does not itch that usually appears on the torso, and fever. Ulcers, fatigue, headache, aching muscles, and swollen lymph nodes. However, the signs differ with the various stages of the virus (Khumsaen &Stephenson,2019). This paper aims to discuss the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the organ system involved in physiology, changes in the normal functioning of the organ system as a result of the virus, and cures and precautions.

There are various tissues and organs of the immune system in the body that supports normal anatomy and physiology. These organs and tissues include macrophages, mucous membranes, skin, T lymphocytes, and tonsils. The lymphatic vessels transport the immune cells, which intersect lymph nodes throughout the entire body. (Goswami et al.,2020). The T lymphocytes (CD4 cells) trigger immune cells such as CD8 T lymphocytes and macrophages in the body, which help in the correspondence of the immune system. The CD4 cells aid in fighting bacteria by setting up the antibodies to kill the germs and viruses which may cause illness.

HIV mainly attacks CD4 helper cells, making it difficult for the body to protect itself against other bacteria. The body’s immunity weakens (Furman et al.,2019). Therefore, if HIV is not treated, the immune system weakens, thus exposing one to minor infections such as cold and flu. HIV kills CD4 cells by creating new virus copies through replication machinery (Amboja,2022). This results in CD4 cells swelling and eventually bursting. When the virus has destroyed a certain number of CD4 cells, and the CD4 count drops under 200, one becomes exposed to AIDS. However, improved HIV treatment has positively impacted the possibility of longer and healthier lives among people with the virus.

Every individual can work towards curbing the spread of HIV infection by practicing the use of antiretroviral drugs, voluntary medical male circumcision, eradication of child-birth transmission, cure, testing, counseling for HIV and STIs, and the use of male and female condoms. Antiretroviral drugs suppress viral replication, thus boosting the body’s immunity to protect itself against opportunistic diseases and even cancer (Hayes et al., 2019). Every individual living with HIV should be provided with lasting antiretroviral nevertheless of their clinical status nor CD4 cell count, as recommended by the World Health Organization

In conclusion, among many, HIV/AIDS remains the main nationwide public health problem. However, there is no cure for the virus. Still, there has been an improvement in access to effective HIV diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and care and thus resulting in easy management of chronic health conditions. Therefore, we should support the infected individuals regardless of their health status to feel accepted and fit in our societies and create effective measures to educate and create awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


Amboja, D. (2022). A Study On Total Lymphocyte Count and Cd4 Count in Hiv-Affected Patients. International Journal of Biological Studies2(1), 13-19.

De Cock, K. M., Jaffe, H. W., & Curran, J. W. (2012). The Evolving Epidemiology of Hiv/Aids. Aids26(10), 1205-1213.

Furman, D., Campisi, J., Verdin, E., Carrera-Bastos, P., Targ, S., Franceschi, C., … & Slavich, G. M. (2019). Chronic Inflammation in The Etiology of Disease Across the Life Span. Nature medicine25(12), 1822-1832.


Goswami, A. K., Khaja, M. S., Downing, T., Kokabi, N., Saad, W. E., & Majdalany, B. S. (2020, August). Lymphatic Anatomy and Physiology. In Seminars in interventional radiology (Vol. 37, No. 03, pp. 227-236). Thieme Medical Publishers.

Hayes, R. J., Donnell, D., Floyd, S., Mandla, N., Bwalya, J., Sabapathy, K., … & Fidler, S. (2019). Effect of Universal Testing and Treatment on HIV Incidence—HPTN 071 (PopART). New England Journal of Medicine381(3), 207-218.

Khumsaen, N., & Stephenson, R. (2019). Feasibility and Acceptability of an HIV/AIDS Self-Management Education Program for HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex with Men in Thailand. AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education31(6), 553.


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