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REPLACING ANIMALS IN AIDS RESEARCH
Even when deliberately infected with various strains of immunodeficiency viruses, animals do not succumb to AIDS. Humans are the most vulnerable species to HIV, making human-based research the only approach with the potential to treat and cure AIDS.
Epidemiology (the study of disease trends within various populations) has revealed HIV's peculiarities in behaving differently from one human to the next. Most AIDS patients die within twelve years, but some die sooner, some later. Some live with no evident symptoms. Some people are exposed to HIV but dont get infected. Continued objective observation of these groups, combined with other human-based research methods, is our best hope of fully understanding HIV and AIDS.
Thousands of AIDS patients volunteer for clinical studies. Clinical observation showed that AIDS develops much faster if the patient has low levels of vitamins A, B12, and E. Clinical observation also revealed the effects of other nutrients and weight loss of those afflicted with AIDS. These findings imply environmental and nutritional factors affects and warrant more study.
In vitro research is conducted in a controlled environment, such as a test tube or culture using human cells. This test method provides legitimate, accurate information. Human cell cultures reveal how HIV transmits and mutates on the cellular level.
In vitro research and epidemiological studies have given us the information we have about AIDS and its behavior within the human body. In vitro studies and technology exposed HIVs progression on the cellular level. Clinical studies demonstrated where HIV-infected cells accumulate, directing doctors to focus on these particular areas to monitor and attempt to interrupt the diseases progression.
In vitro research and mathematical and computer modeling are responsible for demonstrating the efficacy and safety of current and potential treatments. These methods combined with epidemiological studies have also proved the increased success of combining medications, a technique which has decreased AIDS deaths.