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Flashcards in HIV/AIDS Deck (12):


- human immunodeficiency virus

- virus that causes AIDS

- HIV+ does not mean AIDS



- acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

- final stages of HIV infection

- AIDS does mean HIV+


HIV Transmission

- unprotected sexual intercourse

- sharing needles/syringes

- cuts/injuries from sharp instruments (scalpel)

- prenatal/perinatal transmission (1/3 of all HIV+ women)

- blood transfusion (1985 mandate; routine screening)- no longer a problem

- HIV is not transmitted via food, air, or casual contact


The Immune System

- described as a constellation of responses to attack from outside the body (antigens)

- antigens: any substance that elicits an immune response

- antigen-specific response: recognize and act against particular antigens

- system response: not confined to the initial site of infection but works throughout the body

- memory: recognize and mounts stronger subsequent attacks


Adaptive Immune System

- natural immune system protects the body for a few days secondary to its nonspecific antigen focus

- the adaptive immune system defends and protects from infection and foreign invaders; has the capability to call upon other aspects of the immune system to complete specific tasks

- the adaptive immune cells develop in the thymus and the bone marrow and then congregate in the lymph nodes moving throughout the body via the blood and lymphatic streams


The blood system

- humans possess approximately 5 liters of blood

- all blood cells are manufactured by stem cells found in the bone marrow; stem cells produce hemocytoblasts

- hemocytoblasts mature into: red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets (thrombocytes)

- leukocytes are comprised of several differing subtypes one of which includes the lymphocytes; the two primary lymphocytes are B-cells and T-cells


The lymphatic system

- lymph nodes are filters that attempt to identify antigens; that is why they become edematous when we are sick (persistent generalized lymphadenopathy or PGL)

- the lymphocytes that manage and execute all activities of the adaptive immune system are the B-cells and the T-cells

- B-cells recognize the presence of antigens and then acts per the activation signal by releasing antibodies

- T-cells (various categories specifically CD-4 T-cells); detects antigen presence but kills antigen itself; does not use antibodies


HIV Presence

- HIV attacks the CD-4 T-cells and kills them

- CD-4 T-cells send activation signals to the B-cells

- because the CD-4 T-cells are unable to activate the B-cells, the pt with HIV is susceptible to a host of other infections and diseases



- HIV associated neurocognitive decline/disorder

- AIDS dementia complex

- essential features: disabling cognitive impairment with motor dysfunction, speech problems, and behavioral change

- cognition: mental slowness, memory deficits, and poor concentration

- motor: loss of fine motor skills, clumsiness, poor balance, tremors



- behavioral changes: apathy, lethargy, diminished emotional responses, and decreased spontaneity

- ADC or HAND associated with low CD4 cells; often present as the first sign of AIDS

- HAND/ADC has declined secondary to HAART or high active antiretroviral therapy; medications will only delay onset

- dementia exists when the pt’s neurocognitive impairment is severe enough with daily functions or be unable to work; social interaction


HAND or ADC Stages 1

- stage 0: normal mental and motor function

- stage 0.5: (subclinical) minimal symptoms of cognitive or motor dysfunction characteristic of ADC/HAND or mild signs but without impairment of work or capacity to perform ADLs; gait and strength are normal

- stage 1: (mild) evidence of functional intellectual or motor impairments characteristic of ADC/HAND but able to perform all but the more demanding aspects of work or ADLs; can walk without assistance


HAND or ADC Stages 2

- stage 2: (moderate) cannot work or maintain the more demanding aspects of daily life but are able to perform basic ADLs of self-care; ambulatory but may require a single prop

- stage 3: (severe) major intellectual incapacity; cannot follow news or personal events; cannot sustain complex conversation with considerable slowing of all output; motor disability where pt cannot walk unassisted; requires a walker or support

- stage 4: (end stage) nearly vegetative; intellectual and social comprehension and responses are rudimentary; possible mute and paraparetic or paraplegic; urinary/fecal incontinence