Wednesday, January 14, 2009

AVERT Develops An Online Educational Tool

AVERT, which is an international HIV and AIDS charity based in the United Kingdom, recently launched an interactive educational tool that focuses on the history and science of AIDS and HIV. The informative presentation covers numerous topics, including its possible origins.

Some of the most compelling information reminds us that HIV is a highly variable virus that mutates very readily. This means that there are many different strains of HIV, even within the body of a single infected person. In most cases, researchers classify them as HIV-1 and HIV-2, with each having various subgroups.

The implication of variability is one of many reasons people respond differently to various treatments. Likewise, the development of an AIDS vaccine is also affected by the range of virus subtypes as well as by the wide variety of human populations who need protection and who differ, for example, in their genetic makeup and their routes of exposure to HIV.

One of the many topics covered by the site includes why it is so difficult to cure AIDS. Specifically, curing AIDS is generally taken to mean clearing the body of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Unfortunately, this virus replicates (makes new copies of itself) by inserting its genetic code into human cells, particularly a type known as CD4 cells. For more information, visit "A Cure For Aids at AVERT.

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