Mking44 Week 4

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Individual Journal Entries

Class Journal Entries


  • The purpose of this week's assignment is to get more familiar with HIV/AIDs epidemic by debunking some common myths about the virus and obtain more knowledge in order to better research about the mechanism of the virus.

Myth 4 Summary

  • Myth: The best way to control the spread of HIV is to invest into stronger prevention programs. People already with HIV that require costly treatments should wait until these programs come about.
  • Even though knowledge of HIV has increase since it was first discovered, the gap between rich and poor has widened.
  • 90% of people in developing countries do not have access to antiretrovirals (ARVS)
  • However, prevention AND treatment should both be equally important.
  • Wealthy countries have access to expensive antiviral drugs, however, the majority of people who have HIV are in poor countries, and allowing them to die is unethical.
  • Also, there are socioeconomic costs: teachers, farmers, and parents die from HIV and lead to losses for personal life and society.
  • There are limitations to the control of HIV when it is only just prevention.
  • Studies have shown that behavioral changes are largely ineffective.
  • Demand for treatment creates an level of political resistance prevention alone cannot (Irwin 2003)
  • Unlike other diseases that have a socioeconomic and moral weight, AIDS focuses on awareness and public concern.

Myth 5 Summary

  • Myth: ARVS are so expensive that it is not realistic for the majority of people to have access. Also, since ARVS require professional health services and laboratories and most developing countries do not have them, it will lead to more HIV antiretroviral resistance.
  • In reality, there is a lowering trend in ARV prices, due to the push of activists and the distribution of more general ARVs.
  • Evidence suggests that treating patients with ARVS can save money for the health systems
  • The argument about lack of infrastructure is invalid and it is compared too much to rich country standards to be "adequate."
  • ARVs administration can be simplified to fit each setting regardless of access to resources.
  • Relationships between rich and poor health services can allow to provide treatment to those who don't have access
  • Despite common belief, resistance is found in mostly wealthy countries.
  • To prevent resistance, at least three drugs should be used at once to attack the virus.
  • To prevent mishandling, people should be supervised taking the drugs and follow local guidelines (DOTS)
  • The problem is not whether ARVS will be available in these countries, but of how they will reach these countries (Irwin 2003).

Refined Research Question

  1. Since previous studies use different regions of the env gene and got conflicting results, does the evolution/adaptation of the HIV virus to the host immune response depend on the region selected?


  • There are many misconceptions regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which includes origin, prevention, control, and treatment. By carrying out studies on different health communities as well as observing HIV all over the world, several solutions to the myth have been discussed with real life data. For example, it is common belief that resistance to HIV drugs are found in resource-poor countries, however, in reality, the resistance is found in wealthy countries. This shows that even though wealthy countries have access to ARV drugs, there needs to be better protocol on how to administer these drugs. By debunking these myths, one can better understand HIV and they can work towards awareness as well as better control and treatment of the virus.


  • I collaborated with my partner Maya to formulate our research topic for HIV evolution
    • I modified the protocol and used it to guide me shown on the Week 4 page.
  • I used the Myth 4 and Myth 5 chapters as a guide in the 'Global Aids' book in order to create summaries of them.
  • I read the readings found on the Week 4 page in order to answer the class journal questions
  • Except for what is noted above, this individual journal entry was completed by me and not copied from another source.


  1. Irwin, A. C., Fallows, D., & Millen, J. V. (2003). Global Aids: myths and facts. Cambridge, Mass: South End Press
  2. OpenWetWare. (2020). BIOL368/S20:Week 4. Retrieved February 9, 2020, from