But after sometimes it was detected as a newly discovered “retrovirus”. It was eventually called the “human immuno-deficiency virus” or HIV.
The scientists, after long researches, mapped out the genes of HIV and discovered which parts of this gene are constant and which are variable.
They have researched how the virus replicates inside the body and how different types of cells can act as reservoirs.
They have explored the various ways HIV attacks and destroys CD4 cells, the white blood cells critical to the body’s immune system.
A normal man has a large number of CD4 cells in his blood while people with HIV infection lose all of their CD4 cells over time, as their ability to produce them diminishes.
But for all the advances in the basic science of this virus, there is still no cure or vaccine for HIV. A number of lingering mysteries about the virus confound the efforts of researchers, clinicians and the people with AIDS. HIV has a latency period. It lasts from a few months to ten years.
The researchers FDA (Food and Drug Administration of US) have prepared two drugs that combat the virus itself; another set of five drugs which treat infections brought on by a weakened immune.
But these medicines are simply an eye-wash. There is no authentic drug or vaccine which can completely cure this deadly disease.
The only effective cure is ‘prevention’. More and more people should be made aware of the preventive measures to be taken.
What is necessary is that people should be persuaded to use condoms and sterilized syringes as far as possible.
The government should train health workers who would educate the people through media publicity, photo films and animating documentary video films about the possible impact of this century’s most horrible disease.
The focus should be shifted to the prevention of the spread of the human immuno-deficiency virus that causes AIDS.