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Heterosexual transmission of HIV

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25 years ago, the human immunodeficiency virus HIV, also known under the acronym HIV, made a sensational entry into human medicine. The epidemic of HIV infection, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), spread within the human species over several decades. The origin of the virus appears clear today, as a monkey virus (chimpanzee Pan troglodytes and macaques) could easily have adapted to humans. The transition from ape to man could be through food, as a result of the monkeys being eaten by humans. HIV infection occurs in 3 steps whose final stage is the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). As its name implies, AIDS is a condition in which the human immune system is weakened. This condition makes the patient vulnerable to infection of multiple opportunistic infections, which are responsible for serious infections and death of the patient. Every day 8000 people die as a result of HIV infection, and UN AIDS estimated that in only 25 years, HIV has killed nearly 28 million people (half of the dead of the Second World War). Among the more than 39.5 million people currently infected, 90% live in developing countries (Sub-Saharan Africa 24.7 million and Southeast Asia including 7.8 million). The death toll of HIV is poised to increase in coming years. AIDS is thus the largest global epidemic since the Black Death of the Middle Ages. It exceeds the gravity of the still famous "Spanish influenza" of 1918, and we already know that the number of deaths directly related to AIDS will exceed that of the 2nd World War. However, countries are unequally affected by this epidemic. Due to a lack of awareness and limited access to antiretroviral treatment, it is indeed the Third World who will pay the price. Despite increased research funding, the strengthening of political commitment and progress in expanding access to anti-HIV medicines, the AIDS epidemic continues to advance globally. Some countries which lowered their guard saw the number of new infections grow again. For example, in many industrialized countries, the discovery of anti-HIV therapies feeds the dangerous myth that AIDS has been defeated. For a long time the AIDS virus was considered marginal (homosexuals and drug addicts), but now the main mode of transmission is heterosexual especially in underdeveloped countries where prevention and safe sex are almost nonexistent.

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