By: Katherine Schwei and Amanda Warner
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) has been a prevalent topic of interest in Thailand due to the thousands of people who have either HIV or AIDS. To understand why so many people in Thailand have either HIV or its more threatening stage, AIDS, we need to understand what HIV/AIDS is and how it is transmitted before we can gain a better understanding of how HIV/AIDS is spreading throughout the Thailand population.
The AIDS virus was first isolated by researchers in France in 1983 and by researches in the United States in 1984. HIV is the beginning form of AIDS, and there are two known viruses of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2; HIV-2 occurs mainly in West Africa, and HIV-1 is the strand that occurs throughout the world. HIV infects the certain white blood cells, including the T-helper cells and macrophages (“AIDS” World) which are key components in the response of the immune system. The HIV enters the CD4 cells and inserts its own DNA into the cells reproductive system which causes the cell to produce more HIV as the cell reproduces. Ultimately, the CD4 cells die, and although the body makes millions of CD4 cells every day, the HIV destroys them as fast as they are produced.