Essay on The Origin And Diffusion Of Aids

Essay on The Origin And Diffusion Of Aids

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In 1981, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as a disease transmitted among homosexual men in the United States of America. Since then, doctors have discovered the disease begins with human immunodeficiency virus I (HIV- I), and progresses through stages until the patient suffers from “full blown AIDS” (p19). The disease is does not single handedly affect homosexual men, but can affect everyone. Gary Shannon and Gerald Pyle research where AIDS or more specifically HIV- I originated from and how it has spread over the entire world becoming a pandemic in their article, The Origin and Diffusion of AIDS: A View from Medical Geography. The team addresses not only the biological diffusion of the disease, but the cultural, social, behavioral, economic and political factors behind one of the most historically significant pandemics of the 20th and 21st centuries. Because of the “social stigma attached to the disease” and the “differences in infections and diseases associated with the pathogen,” the disease provided great difficulties for them to track. In the end, Shannon and Pyle skeptically and reluctantly conclude that the origin of the HIV- I virus is undetermined, but narrow in and explore several plausible theories and explanations.
Shannon and Pyle first address the discovery of AIDS and HIV- I. Before the disease was clearly identified, it was misdiagnosed among physicians around the world. Patients were often diagnosed with “’opportunistic’ diseases” liked Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS) and Pneumocystis Carinii pneumonia (PCP) (p3). Both diseases were extremely rare in the United States, and the sudden rise in people diagnosed alerted physicians there was something else going wrong. Hi...


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...pines diagnosed patient with it in 1985. The authors show the disease had a pattern of hitting all major urban areas of each country or continent.
Overall, Gary Shannon and Gerald Pyle cannot conclude without a doubt where and how HIV- I originated from and how it traveled to affect people across the globe. They discuss the setbacks that lead to the disease being misdiagnosed and mistreated along with several other factors influencing the diffusion of the disease. Readers are also provided with several theories (Haiti, Central Africa, Zoonotic disease) and uses substantial evidence to dismiss the Haiti and Zoonotic disease theories and provides almost irrefutable evidence to back up what they believe to be the true theory. Shannon and Pyle acknowledge, though, there is no concrete evidence to make a theory a fact, and the “tragedy of AIDS cannot be minimized” (p19).

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