Overview Human Immunodeficiency Virus Case

Complete the Overview Human Immunodeficiency Virus Case  (HIV) lesson. ML is a 26-year-old homosexual man admitted to the hospital for progressive respiratory distress, fever, weakness, and chronic diarrhea. He tested HIV positive about 3 years ago, but his infection has remained asymptomatic until 2 months prior to admission. Pneumocystis jiroveci (carinii) pneumonia was suspected and confirmed by culture. Laboratory analysis demonstrates a low CD4+ count of 185 cells/ml. HAART treatment with the antiretrovirals azidothymidine (AZT, efavirenz (Sustiva), and ritonavir (Norvir) was started 2 months ago.

  1. ML’s mother is concerned about the potential of catching HIV from her son. What can you tell her about the risk factors and transmission of HIV, and how she might protect herself from infection?
  2. What is the significance of the CD4+ count?
  3. P. jiroveci pneumonia is an opportunistic infection to which immunocompetent people are immune. What other opportunistic infections are commonly seen in AIDs patients? Are there any data to suggest that ML may have one of these?
  4. ML’s sexual partner recently tested negative for HIV. What conclusions can be made about his HIV status?
  5. A medical student asks you to draw a picture of HIV virion and a CD4+ cell and to explain the mechanism of intracellular infection and the role of reverse transcriptase. What would you show on the drawing and explain about the process?

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