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Physio News STD Issue

What are STD’S? How can you prevent from getting an STD? Are STD’S lethal? Learn about the epidemic that has been spreading internationally!!!!!!!!


Letter From The Editor

Hello my name is Rosely De La Cruz or you can call me Dr. Rose. I am triracial, half Japanese, half British, and half African-American; unbelievable, I know. I am the editor of PhysioNews, and temporary professor at the University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Infectious Diseases Division, in Philadelphia. I received my PH.D in Physiology at Yale University, and studi ed Virolo gy at the Unive rsity of Maryl and. I have achie ved a lot, but it doesn’t mean that I’m old. I’m still young and full of energy (45 years old) :D!!! I’ve been on so many expeditions to different countries, and experienced so much that it has had a major impact on my life. All these epidemics that I’ve researched are inevitable! The numbers of diagnosed and deaths, at least, need to be decreased (I just rhymed), but in order for that to happen people need to know

what the diseases are, and how to abide them. I was inspired by a guru that I met in India, named Guru Shagmahaster. He always told me “In order to educate, we must educate ourselves.” That’s when I decided to go into the magazine business, and create (also manage), a A magazine towards physiology. I want to inform people about infections, viruses, bacteria, how the body reacts, etc. This magazine is purely educational; only on the study on how the body works. In this issue of Physi oNe ws, we focus on majo r some STD’s: HIV, AIDS, and HPV; How dangerous they are, and more in depth on how they are diagnosed. Also there is a movie review about the movie, “And the Band Played On”, which is based on the HIV epidemic. This issue is really important because people need to be informed about these diseases that are so lethal and can lead to other excruciating diseases due to an inactive


immune system. So many people don’t know how destructive a virus can be, and how smart this non-cell is! It doesn’t even have a brain and look at how much success it has made; internationally. Abiding an STD is the best way in not getting diagnosed by one…Thousands of adults and children die every year because of an STD. Diseases, in general;

I want to dedicate this issue to the children and adults in Africa that don’t have sufficient medical aid to get the significant medicine in controlling HIV/AIDS. Also not having enough money to get the essential education they need to learn about Sexual Transmitted diseases, or any kind of


HIV: The Worldwide Epidemic By: Cynthia Figueroa HIV is a world known disease. It seems as if it’s everywhere. Although we are familiar with the disease we don’t exactly know what it is, what causes it and how and why after some time it can develop into AIDS. HIV is short for Human Immunodeficien cy Virus. It contains small proteins on its surface that are called glycoproteins and has a surrounding viral envelope. The HIV virus contains two RNA strands and two reverse transcriptase enzymes. HIV is a different type of virus. It is a retrovirus meaning that it contains two identical RNA strands rather than DNA. It also contains two reverse transcriptase enzymes that allow the RNA to convert into DNA. HIV is also known as a lentivirus

because it has a dormant period, meaning that it can take up to ten years to show any symptoms and or affect the person. HIV is also a unique type of virus because it targets specific cells. These cells are called CD4+ Helper T Cells. The origin of HIV is thought to be from a similar virus that originated in chimps and monkeys. This virus is known as Simian Immunodeficien cy Virus or SIV for short. It is thought that the SIV virus somehow mutated into HIV and jumped hosts to humans. Many people might ask, “How exactly did the HIV virus find its way into the population?” Well to answer this question there is no correct or accurate answer. There are many theories regarding the transmission of HIV to


people. Some of these theories include “The Contaminated Needle Theory”, “The Colonialism Theory”, and “The Conspiracy Theory”. First let’s begin with “The Contaminated Needle Theory”. This theory talks about the idea that African healthcare professionals used one single syringe, without sterilization, to inject multiple patients. These poor health conditions could have contributed to the more rapid and easier transformation or mutation and transmission of the virus from one person to another. “The Colonialism Theory” is another theory on how the virus could have been spread. This theory implies that due to the lack of sanitation in colonies and harsh labor camps the SIV virus somehow found its way into the population and began to take advantage of the labor worker’s weakened immune systems. These labor workers were being given unsterile vaccines to protect themselves and in order to get them to work for longer periods of times.

The final theory we will discuss is “The Conspiracy Theory.” This theory suggests that the HIV virus was purposely created and genetically engineered. It states that the HIV virus was created in order to wipe out or get rid of mass numbers of people of African descent as well as homosexuals. As of today there is no valid cure or vaccine for HIV. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to create a vaccine for HIV because the virus is constantly changing forms or mutating. In order to create an effective vaccine for HIV, scientists would need to find some sort of pattern in the past mutations of this virus. Although there might not be a vaccine that can cure or prevent HIV, there are vaccines that are able to successfully stop the process of Reverse Transcriptase and to stop the virus from entering the host cell’s genome. If HIV is left untreated it can develop into AIDS. HIV can also develop into AIDS after a period of time.


The Real Scoop on: AIDS is?

We’ve all heard on it, we all fear it, but… Do we really know what it By Patricia Balbuena

There are many myths and stereotypes about AIDS out there. Many people feel threatened by this condition yet they don’t know anything about it. Here are true facts this disease that will help you understand it and hopefully prevent it. AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This a condition developed after HIV has damaged too many Helper T-cells, usually with a count below 200. Helper TCells are white blood cells whose function in the immune system is to relay messages to the body when an antigen is present. HIV primarily targets these cells because by stopping their function, they stop the entire immune response thus weakening the immune system. AIDS is the last phase of HIV. There are in total 4 stages of HIV and the duration of each stage varies in every patient. All of these stages lead

from HIV to AIDS. The First stage is the Primary HIV infection. This stage happens shortly after the person first becomes infected with HIV. If a HIV Test is taken during this stage, there is a probability that the test will show up negative. This is because the body has not produced antibodies for the disease yet. The second stage is Asymptomatic HIV. During this stage, the person infected is free of any symptoms but the virus is now reproducing and spreading to the rest of the body. This stage can last up to 10 years. If the HIV test is performed during this stage, it would come out as positive. The third stage of HIV is Symptomatic HIV. In this stage symptoms begin to show up and opportunistic diseases begin to take advantage of the weak immune system. The last stage is AIDS. The person infected has been diagnosed with AIDS. Even if the person progressively gets better, they can not go back to a stage of HIV. In other


words, once a person is diagnosed with AIDS, there is no going back. HIV progresses slowly because it is a lentivirus. This means that the viral DNA has dormant period in the host’s DNA. During this dormant period, the HIV virus has the opportunity to spread through out the body, infecting other cells. AIDS is diagnosed in the US and the UK in two different ways. One of the ways is when a person with HIV has one or more

opportunistic diseases. The second way is when a person has a count CD4+ Helper T-Cells inferior to 200.Opportunistic diseases are those that attack a person with a weak immune system. Normally they would be rare to find on people with strong and healthy immune systems. Basically these diseases take the opportunity and attack people with low immune systems. There are currently 26 identified opportunistic diseases that attack patients with AIDS.

Some of the major ones are: Kaposi Sarcoma It is a skin cancer. It causes dark blue lesions in different parts of the body (skin, mucous membranes, etc.)Kaposi Sarcoma usually appears in the early course of HIV. - Candidiasis An infection that is caused by Candida. Candida is a yeast-like fungus that can infect the patient’s entire body. It is a life threat because its is the main cause of esophagitis in people with AIDS. Esophagitis is the inflammation of the esophagus.

- Cytomegalovirus infection (CMV) It’s a disease that causes extreme suffering to the people that are infected with HIV worldwide. It can be spread by close contact with urine, saliva, and other body fluids. once the virus infects the person, its stays in their body for life.


Toxoplasmosis This diseases is caused by a protozoan parasite. Symptoms of this disease include confusion, fever, headaches, poor coordination and nausea, among others. include confusion, fever, headaches, poor coordination and nausea, among others.


HPV the New Epidemic By: Rocio Bejarano There is 5.5 million cases reported each year and more than 20 million people are already infected in the United States alone but what is causing this high numbers ?? It’s the new epidemic called Human Papillom a Virus (HPV) which is a DNA virus that makes a antigen protein called L-1 and it’s a Papilloma Virus so it is made to replicate in epithelial cells that we have in our bodies. HPV is found in both men and women that are sexually active and has become the most common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) by skin to skin contact generally through genital contact during vaginal, anal and oral sex. There are low risks and high risks of HPV can cause growth of abnormal cells. High risks include different type of

cancers that results from the lesions of abnormal cells if they were to be left untreated. The most common cancers are vulva, anus, anus but most commonly cervical cancer in women because of the small layer of epithelial cells located in the vaginal area. Low risk factors are that they don’t cause cancer but cause genital warts that appear in the genital and anus area. A way to prevent cervical cancer and to find out if you have HPV is to get a Pap test which is a test of the cervix that looks for abnormal cells and removes them before they become cancerous. This is your best way to find out if you have HPV because you could have it and not even know it because if you don’t get warts then you don’t know if you have it because you won’t know until the


cervical cancer is advanced. The Pap test is recommende d for women and they are advised to get them in the first three years they become sexually active and then to get a yearly check up. Another way to prevent HPV and cervical cancer is by vaccinations such as Gardasil and Cervarix that are available and recommended to girls and women ages 11 – 26 as well as for boys and men both only against genital warts. The vaccination works against HPV because it contains a dead form of the virus, meaning it the virus but it’s not alive so you won’t get HPV. This allows for your body to make antibodies against the virus so later on if your immune system was to be exposed to the virus your body is going to recognize it and attack it quick not letting spread and infect you body. The vaccine is given in three parts in girls and women which is when you are given the first dose then two months after that the second dose and

four months after that the third dose to build a better stronger immunity against the virus the vaccine protects for 8 year after the first administration of the first set of shots. Vaccination for males is optional because the best way to prevent it is by preventing it on women since they are more vulnerable to HPV and cervical cancer. HPV is serious and you have to get inform by knowing about how to best prevent it especially teenagers because they are too vulnerable of contracting HPV they have the resources and people that could answer their questions it is not a foreign thing and they should not be afraid to ask questions is best to know their options rather than not been inform about it at all. Just Ask it might be the best thing you do for yourself!! Sources: www.cdc.gov.; www.livestrong.com; www.asccp.org


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