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Comparing the AIDS Epidemic and The Plague

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Comparing the AIDS Epidemic and The Plague


The destruction and devastation caused by the 'Black Death' of the Middle Ages was a phenomenon left to wonder at in text books of historical Europe. An unstoppable plague swept the continent taking as much as eighty percent of the European population along with it (Forsyth).

Today the world is plagued with a similar deadly disease. The AIDS epidemic continues to be incurable. In an essay written by David Herlihy, entitled 'Bubonic Plague: Historical Epidemiology and the Medical Problems,' the historic bubonic plague is compared with
the current AIDS epidemic of today. According to his research, AIDS will probably prove to be the plague of the millennium (Herlihy p. 18).

If one compares the epidemiology and social impact of these diseases they prove to be quite similar. The current AIDS epidemic has the potential to be the most dangerous and destructive plague of the millennium. No one knows exactly how the AIDS virus erupted. However, one presently dominant theory states that AIDS originated from monkeys in Africa
that transmitted the HIV virus to humans through bites (Forsyth). As people migrated it reached Haiti and then spread to America (Clark p. 65).

The bubonic plague, too, was a spontaneous epidemic. The Black Death occurred because a bacillus was carried by fleas that fed off the blood of humans and transmitted the deadly bacillus in the process (Packer). It began in China and spread by
migration througho...

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