- RESPIRATORY BACTERIA & VIRUSES
- SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTION
- TROPICAL DISEASES
- IMMUNOSUPPRESSIVE VIRUSES
- BLOOD-BORNE VIRUSES
- ENTERIC VIRUSES
HIV belongs to retrovirus family which causes the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Their main routes of transmission are unprotected sex, contaminated needles, breast milk and perinatal transmission. Upon transmission, HIV compromises the body’s cell-mediated immunity and renders the body’s susceptibility to opportunistic infections. Specifically, HIV attacks immune cells such as helper T-cells (CD4+ T-cells), macrophages and dendritic cells and subsequently topples the body’s defense system. Its lethality is reflected in the 2 million AIDS-related deaths in 2008 alone1. Although there is no definitive cure for the disease, treatment such as antiretroviral therapy has been quite promising especially is initiated early2. Hence, an accurate and rapid HIV test is essential for early diagnosis of HIV.