By Susan Hunter
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Additional info for AIDS in Asia: A Continent in Peril
Bhaktapur—that is B-H-A-K-T-A-P-U-R,” she stated in a deep voice, throwing her head back and sweeping her arm in front of her theatrically—“is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is the seat of ancient kings, the ancestors of my race. ” She ran ahead and pointed down a side street at the top ﬂoor of one of the medieval timber-and-brick houses. Her sil- Asian Peril, Global Peril 19 ver earrings caught the sunlight. “That is my house,” she said proudly. ” “What grade are you in? ” The thundercloud returned.
New combinations develop within individuals who acquire two types. A drug user, for example, can get the B subtype from sharing needles and C from a sexual contact. During vaccine trials in Thailand, the dominant subtype, B, was almost completely replaced by subtype E in the test group in only a few years. In only twenty years, since the ﬁrst autoimmune deﬁciency disease, or AIDS, case was diagnosed in 1981, scientists identiﬁed the human immunodeﬁciency virus (HIV) responsible for it, developed blood tests to diagnose the disease, and engineered treatments to extend the life of infected people.
Using a special reverse transcriptase enzyme, it reverses its host cell’s normal process of changing DNA into RNA to make the DNA it needs to reproduce. Other retroviruses cause liver cancer and leukemia in humans. HIV belongs to a subset of retroviruses called lentiviruses that cause slow progressive diseases. Its closest relative, SIV (simian immunodeﬁciency virus), is found in Pan troglodytes troglodytes, a chimp found in equatorial West Africa. HIV has crossed the species barrier more than once, most recently about seventy years ago.