Teenagers with HIV

High School ・Biology ・MLA ・4 Sources

Is HIV Mutation or Inheritance? HIV is not a disease that is genetic or inheritable. It is an infectous disease that is caused by a pathogenic virus that invades the body and causes the infection (Anejo, et al. 2279). However, a mother can pass it to her child during birth or from breastfeeding, and these are not genetic but are direct transmissions that can be prevented with new treatments. HIV mutates itself in the blood cells. With support from other factors, it creates new copies of itself within the host. But, it has to enter the blood cells of the person and use its abilities to duplicate and spread throughout the whole body. The inherited genetic variation of a protein which HIV can use to attach to the blood cells is known as the CX3CR1 249I polymorphism (Anejo, et al. 2280). Most of the people who are resilient and resistant to HIV have a mutation gene known as CCR5-delta32. With the nonappearance of CCR5 on the individual’s cell surface, most of the HIV forms cannot infect the blood cells (Anejo, et al. 2280).Therefore, HIV is a mutating disease, but not an inherited infection unless directly transmitted from the mother to the infant.

The Population Affected with HIV

In the current population, the youths and mostly the adolescents represent an increasing share of individuals living with HIV worldwide. In the year 2015 alone, more than 670,000 young people between the age of 15 to 24 years were newly infected with HIV. Approximately, 250,000 were teenagers between the age of 15 years to 19 (Krueger, et al. 2970). The most recent data indicates that only 13% and 9% of the adolescent girls and boys respectively have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months. The survey stated that AIDS-related deaths among the teenagers have rapidly increased over the previous decade, and have reduced among the other age groups.

From another conducted survey in the United States, in 2015, the youth aged 13 to 24 accounted for more than 22% of the new HIV diagnosis (Krueger, et al. 2975). Consequently, most of these new diagnoses among the teens, 81% appeared among the bisexual males and gays. In fact, the young black American and Latino bisexuals and gay are the most affected (Krueger, et al. 2976). The highest number of the adolescents who acquire HIV get infected through sexual intercourse where most of them are infected recently and are unaware of their HIV status. Meaning, most of the teenagers are in early stage of HIV infection, making them the ideal candidates for early interventions.

HIV Diagnosis 

The conventional procedures for diagnosing HIV in the body of an individual is through conducting blood tests. Mainly, the examinations look for the antibodies which the body produce to fight against HIV (Wagner at al 378). The major tests for HIV and AIDs diagnosis are such as; ELISA test: ELISA is an acronym for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Wagner at al 378). The test is used to detect the HIV. Sometimes, the ELISA test tests results may appear active. If it is the case, the Western blot test is instantly ordered to ascertain the diagnosis. On the other hand, when the results are negative, and the patient is suspecting to have the virus, he/she get tested after three months (Wagner at al 379)

Home tests is also another method for HIV diagnosis. In the US, the only home diagnosis authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration is the Home Access Express Test (Wagner, at al. 380). It is only available in the licensed pharmacies. Again, Saliva Tests is also a technique for HIV detection where a cotton pad is used to get saliva fluid from an individual’s cheek. The pad is positioned in a vial, then forwarded to a medical laboratory for further testing. The outcomes or the results are out within three days, and if they are positive, they should be confirmed with a blood test.

Viral Load Test is also applicable as it measures the quantity of the virus in an individual’s blood. The primary purpose of applying the test is to monitor the treatment advancement or to detect early HIV infection. There are three technology techniques employed to measure the HIV viral load in the blood. They include the branched DNA, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and the nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assay (Wagner, at al. 381). Western Blot is the last diagnosis procedure, which is a very sensitive blood test used to approve the ELISA positive results.


The only HIV treatment is known as the antiretroviral therapy (ART). Nevertheless, ART is not the cure, but it controls the virus so that one can live a longer healthier life, with minimal risks of transmitting the virus to other people (Fauci, et al. 1530).  The treatment procedure involves taking a combination of HIV regimen every day without failure as prescribed by the medical specialist. The antiretroviral therapy avoids the virus from reproducing; hence, lowering the amount of HIV in the body. With minimal viral load in the blood, it gives one’s immune system a better chance to fight off infections and other chronic illnesses such as cancers and TB (Fauci, et al. 1531). The ART medication is suggested for all people living infected with HIV regardless of how healthy or long they have stayed with the virus. In fact, if HIV is untreated, the virus attacks the immune system progressing to AIDs.

Cure for HIV

Currently, no cure for HIV and AIDS in the whole world. Nevertheless, the HIV treatment can control the virus and enhance individuals living with the virus to stay longer and healthy. However, according to new surveys, a functional cure for HIV and AIDS can be attained for some patients if discovered early. The treatment is only effective in about one in ten persons diagnosed early, and many individuals infected with HIV do not realize the infection shortly enough until the virus has taken the full hold (Fauci, et al. 1535). The scientists are still performing their research to try and get the cure as soon as possible.

Expectancy to Live with the Disease

According to numerous studies conducted, it has been found that an effective combination of ART therapy has led to significant improvement in the health status of the infected people. The studies discovered that young adults who are infected with HIV today and began the ART after that are likely to live for several decades. The research team predicted that the average life expectancy of a 20 years old person in the United States or Canada is around 70, provided he or she started the ART program shortly after being infected. Therefore, with the uptake of ART medication, one can have a longer life expectancy.

Work Cited

A, Anejo-Okopi J., et al. "Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1 (HIV-1) Genetic Diversity and Prevalence of Antiretroviral Drug Resistance Mutations in Treatment-Naive Adults in Jos, North Central Nigeria." African Journal of Biotechnology, vol. 12, no. 17, 2013, pp. 2279-2287.

Fauci, Anthony S., and Gregory K. Folkers. "The World must Build on Three Decades of Scientific Advances to Enable A New Generation to Live Free of HIV/AIDS." Health affairs, vol. 31, no. 7, 2012, pp. 1529-36.

Krueger, Amy, et al. "Estimates of CDC-funded and national HIV diagnoses: a comparison by demographic and HIV-related factors." AIDS and behavior 20.12 (2016): 2961-2965.

Wagner, Zachary, Yanyu Wu, and Neeraj Sood. "The Affordable Care Act may Increase the Number of People Getting Tested for HIV by nearly 500,000 by 2017." Health affairs, vol. 33, no. 3, 2014, pp. 378-85 .

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