Journal of Clinical Immunology Research

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Abstract - Journal of Clinical Immunology Research (2019) Volume 2, Issue 1

Youth of color’s perceptions about how stigma affects HIV Testing

The human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) are two species of Lentivirus (a retrovirus subgroup) infecting human. Over time, they induce acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a disorder in which progressive immune system dysfunction allows opportunistic life-threatening infections and cancers to grow.Without treatment, the average survival time after HIV infection, depending on the HIV subtype, is estimated at 9 to 11 years. In most cases, HIV is a sexually transmitted infection which occurs by saliva, preejaculate, semen, which vaginal fluid touch or transfer.Research has shown (for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples) that if the HIV-positive partner has a consistently undetectable viral load, HIV is intransmittable through condomless sexual intercourse. Non-sexual transmission can occur during pregnancy from an infected mom to her baby, during childbirth through exposure to her blood or vaginal fluid, and through breast milk.HIV infects critical cells in the human immune system, such as aid T cells (specifically CD4 + T cells), macrophages and dendritic cells. HIV infection contributes to low levels of CD4 + T cells through a variety of mechanisms, including pyroptosis of abortively infected T cells, apoptosis of non-infected bystander cells, direct viral killing of infected cells, and killing of infected CD4 + T cells by CD8 + cytotoxic cells. When CD4 + T cell numbers decline below a critical level, cell-mediated immunity is lost, and the body is gradually becoming more susceptible to opportunistic infections, leading to AIDS growth.HIV belongs to the genus Lentivirus, part of the Retroviridae family. Lentiviruses have much in common with morphologies and biological properties. Many animals are infected with lentiviruses which are characteristically responsible for long-lasting diseases with a long duration of incubation.Lentivirusesare transmitted as enveloped, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA viruses. Upon entry into the target cell, a virally encoded enzyme, reverse transcriptase, which is transported along with the viral genome in the virus particle, transforms the viral RNA genome (reverse transcribed) to double-stranded DNA.The resulting viral DNA is then imported into the cell nucleus, and a virally encoded enzyme, integrase, and host co-factors are integrated into the cellular DNA. Once integrated, the virus may become latent, allowing for an indeterminate amount of time for the virus and its host cell to avoid immune system detection.The HIV virus can remain dormant in the human body for up to 10 years after primary infection; the virus does not cause any symptoms during this period. Alternatively, it is possible to transcribe the integrated viral DNA, generating new RNA genomes and viral proteins using host cell resources that are packaged and released from the cell as new virus particles that will start the replication process again.For example, less than 1 per cent of Africa's sexually active urban population was measured in 2001, and this proportion is even smaller in rural communities. In addition, only 0.5 per cent of pregnant women attending urban health facilities were notified, screened or obtained their test results in 2001.Again, in rural health facilities, the proportion is even lower. Therefore, donor blood and blood products used in medicine and medical research are routinely screened for HIV, as donors may be unaware of their infection.HIV-1 testing is initially performed using an immunosorbent enzyme-linked assay (ELISA) to detect HIV-1 antibodies. Unless new exposure to an infected partner or partner of unknown HIV status has occurred, specimens with a non-reactive result from the initial ELISA are considered HIV-negative. Specimens with a product of reactive ELISA are retested in duplicate.

HIV infection remains one of the most dangerous diseases and important causes of death. Numerous investigations are devoted to problems of epidemiology, molecular biology, treatment, psychology etc. The number of studies discussing the results of pathological studies is very limited. Having long term experience in HIV pathology, we can formulate the following items. Most important questions to be studied on the autopsies of the deceased from HIV-infection: exact list of secondary infections and tumors with specification of their localization; evaluation of the efficacy of treatment; revealing of immediate death cause; collection of specimen for further investigations in order to study the mechanisms of the disease and its complications. Methods recommended for postmortem investigation are detailed histological study of all macroscopically changed and not changed organs with use of certain special staining; bacteriological and mycological investigation of all suspected lesions in order to clarify their etiology and certain properties of the pathogens; different virological, molecular-biological methods and immunohistochemistry in order to study the localization of lesions due to HIV and other viruses and some of their properties.

Background: Youth of color are particularly vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. HIV infection is increasingly becoming a concern among this population. In reviewing recent HIV infection and AIDS statistics, the burden of this disease is 100% preventable by re-engaging young people with the goal of raising awareness of HIV prevention through regular testing. However, stigma still remains a barrier in communities of color.

Purpose: We qualitatively explored the perceived sociobehavioral perceptions that impact the health and wellbeing of adolescent youth in Brooklyn, particularly outcomes related to HIV Testing.

Methodology: Convenience and snowball sampling were used to recruit youth (n=10) from Brooklyn, New York to participate in a focus group. Focus group data were digitally audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using at last.

Results: Participants identified how HIV testing is important for preventing HIV transmission. They also identified risk factors for contracting HIV including alcohol and drug use, sharing tattooing needles, unstable housing, and multiple sex partners. Also, participants were able to identify stigma as a major barrier to getting an HIV test, hence increasing the likelihood of contracting the virus.

 

Author(s): AdewaleAdesanmi

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