Amazonia Foundation

Virology 101

Viruses manifest themselves differently. The average human being’s immune system is able to overcome some viruses with relative ease. Other viruses, such as HIV , weaken the immune system, increasing the host’s susceptibility to other microbial diseases. Some of these other diseases would not be apparent at all, had there been no primary infection or otherwise immunosuppressive condition.

A virus inserts its genetic material (“viral genes”) into a host cell. A host can be anything from a plant to an animal to a human being. Depending on the environment, the viral genes may take one of two possible pathways. Viruses thrive in conditions that are warm If conditions are favorable for further infection, the genes encoding for viral particles will be activated, causing the host cell to burst and to release many copies of the virus. When conditions are unfavorable, the virus’ genetic material will insert itself into the host genome, staying silent like a time bomb until the environment improves.

Subscribe to our feed to get updates on this thread in the coming months, as we cover the Big Five diseases striking tribes, and their unique effects on native people:

  • HIV and AIDS

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