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HIV and AIDS - Medical Animation

 

This animation may only be used in support of a single legal proceeding and for no other purpose. Read our License Agreement for details. To license this image for other purposes, click here.

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HIV and AIDS - Medical Animation
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If you have HIV, you have an infection that damages your immune system over time, and causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. It is the final stage of an HIV infection, when your immune system is damaged and too weak to fight off ordinary infections. When foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, get into your body, they can cause infections. These events activate your body's defenses. The white blood cells of your immune system are part of your body's defenses. One type of white blood cell, called helper T lymphocytes, or helper T cells, strengthen your immune system's response to infection in two ways. First, helper T cells release chemicals that attract other white blood cells to the site of the infection. These additional white blood cells attack the invading bacteria or virus, as well as other infected cells. Second, helper T cells release chemicals that cause other white blood cells to multiply. These new white blood cells create markers, called antibodies, which can identify the same foreign invader throughout your body. Antibodies attach to the bacteria or virus, marking them as targets for your immune system to destroy them. If you have HIV, it travels through your blood and other body fluids to infect and kill certain white blood cells. The virus enters helper T cells, which are the primary target. Once inside, the virus makes many copies of itself. As these virus particles are made, they leave the damaged helper T cell to infect other cells. The T cell loses its ability to protect the body from the ongoing infection and dies. In this way, HIV spreads and kills more of your helper T cells, weakening your immune system. As a result, other types of infections are able to take advantage of your body's inability to defend itself. These infections are called opportunistic infections. If you have an HIV infection, and one or more opportunistic infections, you have AIDS. Some of the common AIDS-related opportunistic infections are inflammation of the tissues covering your brain and spinal cord, called meningitis, inflammation of your brain, called encephalitis. Respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. Intestinal illnesses, such as chronic diarrhea caused by infectious parasites. And cancers, such as Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. HIV passes from person to person through infected body fluids. HIV can enter your body during unprotected sex, while sharing drug injection needles, during your own childbirth, while breastfeeding from your mother, or from contaminated blood or blood products. Although there is no cure for HIV, drugs called antiretroviral medications can reduce the amount of HIV in your body. One class of antiretroviral medication, called entry or fusion inhibitors, disrupts the HIV infection process by preventing the virus from attaching to your cells. Other classes of antiretroviral medications include reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, and integrase inhibitors. These drugs prevent the creation, assembly, and spread of new viruses. Your doctor may prescribe a combination of these drug classes, known as highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART. Antiretroviral medication doesn't completely remove HIV from your body, but slows it down enough to enable your immune system to fight infections. Regular blood tests will let your doctor know how effective your antiretroviral medication is in controlling HIV. If the number of helper T cells is high enough in your blood sample, your medication is working. Treatments for the opportunistic infections of AIDS are medications specific for each type of infection. For example, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have pneumonia or tuberculosis. To avoid getting or spreading an HIV infection, know your HIV status and your partner's status by getting tested regularly. The most effective way to prevent HIV infection is to avoid vaginal and anal sex. When engaging in sexual activity, you will be less likely to contract HIV if you only have sex with one uninfected partner, or use latex condoms for protection. Avoid using injectable illegal drugs, or sharing drug needles, because the needles may have the virus on them. Avoid intoxication from drugs or alcohol, because you will be more likely to engage in unsafe sexual behavior.

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What attorneys say about MLA and The Doe Report:
"For us, the defining feature of effective demonstrative evidence is whether, by itself, the piece will tell the story of the case. Medical legal Art provides our firm with illustrations and animations that are clear and persuasive. Their exhibits tell the story in a way that allows the jury to understand a very complex subject, very quickly."

James D. Horwitz
Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C.
Bridgeport, CT

"It is my experience that it's much more effective to show a jury what happened than simply to tell a jury what happened. In this day and age where people are used to getting information visually, through television and other visual media, I would be at a disadvantage using only words.

I teach a Litigation Process class at the University of Baltimore Law Schooland use [Medical Legal Art's] animation in my class. Students always saythat they never really understood what happened to [to my client] until theysaw the animation.

Animations are powerful communication tools that should be used wheneverpossible to persuade juries."

Andrew G. Slutkin
Snyder Slutkin & Kopec
Baltimore, MD
"Medical illustrations are essential during trial for any medical malpractice case. The people at MLA have the uncanny ability of creating medical illustrations that simplify the most complex of medical concepts and human anatomy to a lay audience. The exhibits of MLA allow experts to easily describe complex concepts and human anatomy in a manner that could not be done otherwise.

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Even jurors after trial have commented on the ease with which they grasp medical concepts and anatomy once the MLA exhibits were introduced and used by my experts. Even judges who have "seen it all" are thoroughly impressed by the detail and sophistication of the illustrations.

I would not want to try a case without them."

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McHUGH & LAMBROU, LLP
New York, NY

"It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Medical Legal Art. We have used their services for three years and always found their professionalism, quality of work, and timely attention to detail to exceed our expectations. We recently settled two complicated catastrophic injury cases. One medical malpractice case involving a spinal abscess settled for 3.75 million and the other involving injuries related to a motor vehicle accident settled for 6.9 million. We consider the artwork provided by MLA to have been invaluable in helping us to successfully conclude these cases.

I highly recommend MLA to anyone seeking high quality, detailed medical legal artwork."

E. Marcus Davis, Esq.
Davis Zipperman, Krischenbaum & Lotito
Atlanta, GA
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