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1 Date: 2/24/2015 Student Name: Nikita Skiba Title of Essay: HIV/AIDS treatments Teacher s Name: Cheryl McClure School Name: International School School Address: th Ave SE Bellevue WA Enter this essay in the English Language Learner (for 5 years or less of English) category: _X_ Yes No

2 Nikita Skiba McClure Science, per 6 2/23/2015 HIV/AIDS treatments On November 24 th, 1991, Freddie Mercury, singer of my favorite rock group, died because of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), even though treatment at this time existed. He even wrote his song The Show Must Go On, about being sick and the show must go on. In the 1980 s, when HIV was discovered, it was like a death sentence because there was no cure. Using treatments now, victims have a better chance of a normal life. In the future there maybe a cure. HIV/AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is one of most lethal epidemics in the world: 33 million dead, 22 million infected by HIV today. The risk of infection may be higher than we think, 2/8 infected don t know that they are infected. How can we treat infected people? HIV is a virus that affects the immune system. It replicates itself by destroying CD4 (type of T cells needed for immune system to work). When enough of CD4 is destroyed the immune system can t work properly and a disease, like cold becoming deadly to its victim. HIV usually transfers through blood. In 2-4 weeks after HIV infection, many HIV patients, but not, all describe the symptoms as the worst flu ever. They have symptoms like: fevers, swollen glands, sore throat, rashes, muscle and joint aches and pains, fatigue, and headaches. CD4 starts decreasing. Then HIV develops and destroys CD4 cells without any symptoms. Usually it takes 10 years for a person who is not using ART (antiretroviral therapy, Type of treatment for HIV). When HIV has destroyed enough CD4 cells, the immune system stops. This is now called AIDS. In 1987, when AZT (azidothymidine) was first approved as treatment for HIV, it added couple years to survival rate. Victims needed to take 2-3 dozens of pills everyday, but now only 1 pill

3 with a new technique of ART. Most of treatments only keep HIV from becoming AIDS by decreasing HIV reproduction rate (US). One of biggest breakthroughs in HIV treatments was in The first 1-pill per day treatment was released. In the past, victims needed 3-5 pills per day. Only a decade ago victims took 2-3 dozen pills a day, and sometimes so often that a patient needed to get up during night to take a pill. Right now we are close to finding improved treatments of 1 injection per month. This is returning people with HIV to a more normal life. Every year there are announcements about new cures or a vaccine for HIV. However, most don t even pass phase 1 of the clinical trials testing on small group of people. Because HIV is so deadly, particular importance take tests on animals. (Almendrala) Neutralizing antibodies could be an alternative to ART. Because there are 9 types of HIV around the globe and the virus continues to mutate, ordinary antibodies don t work. Scientists research Broadly Neutralizing antibodies. In 2014, scientists at Rockefeller University experimented on mice and this showed that Broadly Neutralizing antibodies can be effective. Clinical trials of this technique on humans are now in progress. Also researchers are making progress toward the possibility of a vaccine. Harvard medical school professor, Todd Allen, runs his own research lab and he found a way to protect monkeys from SIV (analogy of HIV for monkeys). By injecting them with long lasting AIDS drugs, this would lead to more clinical trials. (Almendrala) Mexico hosted the first Latin American World AIDS Conference in 2008 in which Alejandro Brito Lemus interviewed Ramón García Segura, infected with HIV. I summarized his interview and he basically said

4 that victims of HIV experience, not only medical issues, but also family issues. Sometimes it is hard to accept that you are infected or accept your family s behavior when you are infected. Segura stated if you have HIV and your family is not supporting you financially, it s hard to get money for medicine. Life is hard for HIV people because sometimes they don t have family and financial support (Segura). Now we came to point where we have many types of treatment. None cure HIV, but now we have better treatments available than we had in Freddie Mercury died of HIV even when we had treatment then. There are lot of clinical trials going on about cures, but most don t pass stage 1 and it is a long process. However, I think and hope that we are nearing making cures against HIV.

5 Works Cited Almendrala, Anna. "The Biggest HIV/AIDS Research Breakthroughs Of 2014." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 1 Dec Web. 26 Feb Segura, Ramón García. I Pray. But not for myself. The Guardian. By Alejandro Brito Lemus. 4 Aug Web. 25 Feb US. Aids.gov. Stages of HIV Infections. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb

6 Reflection Paragraph: When I started doing this essay I knew the only thing my 5 th grade science teacher told me and the video she shared with us. During this research I learned a lot of about medication, stages of HIV and social challenges of some HIV infected. I also learned about current researches and clinical trials of curing HIV. My teacher showed me an old video about HIV. There was shown 2-3 dozen pills for medication, but now I know about the 1 pill medication. Most of HIV infected individuals are now living almost normal lives, not counting pills every day. If you forget to take your pill, your CD4 starts decreasing and sometimes it can be irreversible. Researchers give us hope for finding treatment.

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