Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: AIDS

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AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a blood born disease that was first recognized in America in the early 1980’s, around the time Rock Hudson passed away. It is believed that it was first passed thru to humans by monkey’s in Africa. “The battle between humans and disease was nowhere more bitterly fought than here in the fetid equatorial climate, where heat and humidity fuel the generation of new life forms. One historian has suggested that humans, who first evolved in Africa eons ago migrated north to Asia and Europe simple to get to climates that were less hospitable to the deadly microbes the tropics so efficiently spread.” (Shilts, 5)

“HIV may already infect one to two million Americans and spreads to forty thousand more people each year.” (Klitzman, 7) This disease wreaks havoc in places like Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, and the United States, as well as countless other places around the world. “With Modern roads and jet travel, no corner of the earth was very remote anymore; never again could diseases linger undetected for centuries among a distant people without finding some route to fan out across the planet.” (Shilts, 5)

AIDS is mainly a sexually transmitted disease, statistically attributed to the homosexual community, that is transferred by people who are unaware they are infected. It can also be transferred between people through tainted blood transfusions as well as the sharing of infected needles among users. AIDS is a devastating and debilitating disease that may not show up for a period of ten years or longer after the original contact. By this time it might be too late to do anything about it , although, there are various cocktails of drugs that could control the disease and extend life for a considerable length of time.

Western society has been able to arrest the spread of AIDS with sexual education and early testing but where the disease first started, in Africa, almost one third of the population is now afflicted with the disease. In order to combat this problem in Africa, the governments of the western world have shown a concentrated effort by sending billions of dollars in aid to educate and treat people who are infected with this disease.

AIDS has reached many people from all different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and areas around the world. This is a scary fact considering many of those people could be unaware they are infected with HIV.
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