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HIV/STDs and Alcohol

Provide an overview of HIV and STD and how alcohol plays a role in each. Please provide academic references to support your response.

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1. Provide an overview of HIV and STD and how alcohol plays a role in each. Please provide academic references to support your response.

Like a typical virus, HIV infects a cell and appropriates the host's cellular components and machinery to make many copies of itself. The new viruses then break out of the cell and infect other cells. HIV stores its genetic information on an RNA molecule rather than a DNA chromosome. This is a distinguishing characteristic of retroviruses, which are viruses that must first convert their RNA genomes into DNA before they can reproduce. (1) HIV causes AIDS (see overview of HIV at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/hivinf.htm).

Individuals who are infected with STDs are at least two to five times more likely than uninfected individuals to acquire HIV infection if they are exposed to the virus through sexual contact. In addition, if an HIV-infected individual is also infected with another STD, that person is more likely to transmit HIV through sexual contact than other HIV-infected persons (Wasserheit, 1992) (2). Furthermore, evidence from intervention studies indicates that detecting and treating STDs may reduce HIV transmission.

? STD treatment reduces an individual's ability to transmit HIV. Studies have shown that treating STDs in HIV-infected individuals decreases both the amount of HIV in genital secretions and how frequently HIV is found in those secretions (Fleming, Wasserheit, 1999). (3)
? Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection, and it can make HIV-infected individuals more infectious. It is critical that all individuals, especially those with herpes, know whether they are infected with HIV and, if uninfected with HIV, take measures to protect ...

Solution Summary

This solution offers an overview of HIV and Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STD) and how alcohol plays a role in each. Academic references support the response.

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