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Viral RNA (yellow)
Treatment of the disease initially made use of an anti-viral drug, AZT. Azidothymidine (AZT) is an anti-aids drug that imitates a natural nucleoside, deoxythymidine, and inhibits the virus copying its RNA into DNA in human cells, by inhibiting the enzyme responsible. Figure one (above) shows the reproduction of the RNA sequence to DNA, which is enzyme catalyzed, and will allow the viral DNA to become incorporated into the cell's DNA, further allowing reproduction of the virus. Figure two (right) shows how the anti-viral drug (shown as a red ball) prevents the copying sequence, and hence could prevent the spread of the virus.
However, AZT can also inhibit our own enzymes, and is toxic, causing painful side-effects.
For further, specific information about AZT, visit this site : www.aidsinfonyc.org/network/simple/zido.html
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