chapter  6
11 Pages

HIV and Alcohol Abuse

ByT. J. McManus, P. Weatherburn

Human Immunodeficiency Viruses I and II (HIV I and II) have been found in Europe. HIV I is by far the more prevalent virus. Infection with Human Immunodeficiency viruses leads to development of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS, as the name suggests, is a breakdown of the body’s natural immune system. The rate of progression from the acquisition of HIV to AIDS is variable and at present unpredictable. Evidence from San Francisco (Buchbinder et al., 1992) suggests that 50% of men who acquired HIV infection from homosexual activity had developed AIDS 10 years after seroconversion. It is uncertain why different people have differing rates of progression to AIDS. The type of virus, the destruction of the immune system, acquisition of other infections and aspects of lifestyle have all at some point been put forward as reasons for progression to symptomatic infection.