Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
AIDS is caused by HIV and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection) destroys white blood cells that are needed in the body to stop infections, which then causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
HIV has symptoms that are like those of the flu, including diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and sore throat. Other symptoms are headaches, fatigue, aching muscles, and rash that doesn’t itch. These symptoms are called acute infection and occur two to six weeks after becoming infected.
As HIV continues to thrive in a body, the infected person might notice weight lost, an oral yeast infection, or shingles.
HIV progresses to AIDS after about ten years in the body. At this point, the body is greatly infected and may procure diseases that it normally wouldn’t get. Symptoms of AIDS that are not also symptoms of HIV are night sweating and lesions in the mouth.
Scientists are currently looking for a cure to HIV and AIDS. While there is a HIV treatment, it does not cure HIV. The drug does not affect HIV in dormant cells. Once the treatment stops, the dormant cells become active, and the HIV starts flowing through the body again.
In Berlin, there was man who had had HIV for over ten years and was cured of it. His doctor looked for a donor with a rare stem cell mutation that is highly resistant to HIV. With these cells and leukemia treatment, the man was finally cured of HIV.
This does not mean that there is a cure for HIV. Having this mutation that resists HIV is very rare, it is found in less than two percent of Americans and Western Europeans combined, less than four percent in Scandinavians, and is not found in Africans at all.
There are many hopes for a cure for HIV and AIDS, and scientists agree that we are close to a cure.