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Immune Dysfunction and AIDS

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) can be characterized by a weakened state of the immune system. It usually manifests when a person’s T-cells bearing CD4 protein, which are responsible for regulating immune responses, become fewer in number, below the threshold of 200 cells/mm (Akase et al., 2017). Consequently, the loss of those cells leads to a highly vulnerable state of the immune system and further complications.

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As a result, people with AIDS become susceptible to opportunistic diseases and cancers, such as lymphoma. The former may include pneumonia, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, meningitis, and other infections affecting the esophagus and skin (Levinson et al., 2018). The danger comes from the fact that those diseases are frequent, but the immune system is unable to properly respond to them (Levinson et al., 2018). A person’s state is further exacerbated by potential sarcoma and neurologic issues (Levinson et al., 2018). HIV-associated symptoms, such as fever and fatigue, may also manifest, although to a greater degree, as AIDS is a progressive form (HIV.gov, 2020). Overall, a person with AIDS will face many risks due to their immune system’s state and experience extreme tiredness coupled with other flu-like conditions.

Considering the underlined symptoms and opportunistic diseases, a person with AIDS will have significant difficulties navigating their life and relationships. For instance, their working capabilities will be hindered by fatigue, and the constant threat of infections will require careful conduct everywhere. As for relationships, such a person will refrain from engaging in sexual contact due to how HIV transmits, alienating those not familiar with the disease or having a stigma against it (Levinson et al., 2018). While treatment to facilitate the immune system’s functions exists, it is mostly used in the early stages, but patients with AIDS can take drugs for opportunistic disease prevention (Levinson et al., 2018). Thus, some issues may be alleviated, but a person’s life will still be rife with difficulties and compromises.

References

Akase, I. E., Musa, B. O. P., Obiako, R. O., Ahmad Elfulatiy, A., & Mohammed, A. A. (2017). Immune dysfunction in HIV: A possible role for pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in HIV staging. Journal of Immunology Research, 2017, 1–5. Web.

HIV. (2020). Symptoms of HIV. Web.

Levinson, W., Chin-Hong, P., Joyce, E. A., Nussbaum, J., & Schwartz, B. (2018). Review of medical microbiology & immunology: A guide to clinical infectious diseases (15th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

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