Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was first recognized as a new disease in 1981 when increasing numbers of young homosexual men succumbed to unusual opportunistic infections and rare
One of the big factors early on is that no one wanted to be associated with AIDS due to the fact that it was considered a homosexual man’s disease. There was a lot of fear, denial and anger surrounding this disease. In 1981at the CDC Dr. Guinan asks that a report about an epidemic with gay men had broken out and he wanted it published in the medical journal. The fear of the word “homosexual” was marked off and not used for that article. It took a long time for the realization that this disease could affect everyone from homosexual males, IV drug users, blood transfusion patients, women and even babies. Even though it was initially considered the disease came from gay men and their sexual practices it crossed all borders as time went on. Still today there is some prejudice regarding AIDS. (Spelling, Vincent &
The movie, And the Band Played On, illustrates the beginning of the AIDS virus and how it unexpectedly spread across the world. It used the Ebola disease to indicate that there will be another severe disease surfacing. The world was not prepared to handle such a transmissible disease. Doctors globally presumed that the first cases of the HIV virus to be just a deformity of a specific disease. Their negligence of this issue was the beginning of the spread of this AIDS. Throughout the movie, it shows various points, such as the start of HIV, the misunderstandings it gave, and the fear it stimulated amongst doctors and everyone else.
Fears and misconceptions regarding AIDS began when only the homosexual community contracted it. Therefore, people started to believe that only the homosexuals would get the AIDS and blamed them for the cause of the disease. The public was not in fear until some people who were not homosexuals contracted the disease. It was at this time, that the public’s attitude shifted into the fear that anyone was able to have AIDS; it was a sexually transmitted disease. Many were also deceived by the government’s actions. For example, one woman in the movie began to become sick after a blood transfusion. She always thought that it was due to surgical problems, but actually she had contracted AIDS and the doctors knew but didn’t do anything about it. This also caused panic because, even though the government knew AIDS was spreading around they did not do anything about it.
As decades pass, it becomes evident that medical research plays a vital role in saving lives and containing deadly epidemics. Without the advancement of modern medicine, these lethal diseases could undeniably erase mankind in its entirety. AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, was the fire that medical researchers were trying to contain since the first reported case of AIDS swept across American headlines on June 5, 1981 (“Timeline”). As mentioned in the Billy Joel’s song “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” AIDS played an influential role in shaping modern medicine and treatment. Acquired immune deficiency puzzled researchers from the start, however, physicians discovered the origin, method of transfer, treatment, and containment methods for
Semen containing white blood cells infected with HIV comes into contact with tissue in the rectum and vagina. The virus can then enter the bloodstream of the host through perforations in the tissue surface. The risk of this happening is greatest in anal intercourse, either between two men or a man and a woman.” HIV is spread through a direct exchange of blood or blood products. This mode of transmission is most frequent among IV drug users who share injection needles. It includes, as well, hemophiliacs and other persons who receive blood transfusions, and fetuses of mothers who carry the AIDS virus.” AIDS has sparked considerable interest and controversy since the start of the epidemic. However, in trying to identify where AIDS originated, there is a danger that people may try and use the debate to attribute blame for the disease to particular groups of individuals or certain lifestyles. When the AIDS epidemic became offical in June 1981, it was widely considered exclusively a "gay disease” and this was because many people were confused and uneducated about this new, foreign disease that faced and ravaged our society as a whole. There is no doubt that many people coming from all walks of life were subject to discrimination when other people discovered that they were suffering as victims taken by the disease. The cultural and social response to AIDS portrayed in the film Philadelphia (1993) covered all of these aspects and was
Before 1978 there was no stored blood anywhere in the U.S. that tested positive for HIV or the KS virus. There were no cases of AIDS and no cases of "gay cancer" in young men. The Hepatitis B vaccine experimentation began in new
In the documentary “The Age of AIDS,” FRONTLINE examines the outbreak of AIDS since its first diagnosed case in 1981. The film investigates different medical, political and social environments under AIDS pandemic in the US and worldwide. The film not only focuses on the scientific research and progress in treating the disease, it also looks at the social stigma, government strategies and public campaigns around different countries.
The year was 1991 when Mary Fisher tested positive for HIV. Fisher is the daughter of Max Fisher, a powerful and wealthy republican. She isn 't the normal face of AIDS, and in 1992 she spoke out of her disease at the Republican National Convention. Fisher 's speech, A Whisper of AIDS, is considered one of the top speeches of the 20th century. When Fisher gave her speech, she spoke to a crowd that didn 't believe AIDS was going to affect their lives. When listening and reading the speech, one must take into context the time period, during the 90s testing positive for HIV/AIDS meant death. At the time there were no treatments to help prolong those
In the election year of 1992, the AIDS epidemic ran rampant through America, despite attempts to curb its effects. Not only was America as a country unwilling to step up to help an already stigmatized population, but finding ways to deal with the rapid spread became more of an accessory to political agendas than a necessity to save lives. The Republican party, which holds on to religiously-influenced ideals, was not eager to offer support to a group which Christianity condemns, so did very little to rectify the epidemic. On top of inaction, many did not want to help gay people; homosexuality was still widely unaccepted in society, and the addition of AIDS to the LGBT community did nothing to endear their situation to the general public.
Carl Zimmer the guest speaker of this broadcast states that in 1981 doctors described for the first time a new disease, a new syndrome which affected mostly homosexual men. The young men in Los Angeles were dying and the number of cases was growing faster and faster. The number of deaths was increasing from eighty to six hundred and twenty five in just the first few months. After the first few cases in LA, AIDS was declared to be one of the deadliest pandemics the world had ever seen after the plague in the Middle Ages.
When the AIDS and HIV virus crept its way into the human-race, it quickly, and without warning, claimed the lives of millions. Then when its destructive wake had finally been abated, it left behind several untold mysteries. Throughout the course of this class, all the new material we have been exposed to has added some unique piece to the puzzle of the AIDS epidemic. Each puzzle pieces have ranged from speculations on how the AIDS epidemic had begun, to what exactly has the epidemic done. We have also tackled the question and how it forced a change in society. Our newest piece of the puzzle is the documentary “The Age of AIDS,” by William Cran. Although this documentary did not surprise me in its content, it did, however, affirm certain types
According to a report published in the February 1998 edition of “Nature”, scientists identified what they believe is the earliest case of AIDs in a man from the Congo in 1959. (Lerner and Hombs 39) By the end of the year 1980, 80 men would have been diagnosed with at least of the opportunistic infections that are a characteristic of AIDs. (Lerner and Hombs 40) AIDs cases in the 1980s increased dramatically not only around the world but in the United States, primarily in larger cities like Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco. The numbers of AIDs diagnoses and deaths spiraled out of control throughout the 1980s and towards the end of 1989 there were 117,500 cases of AIDS reported and 89,000 related deaths.(Lerner and Hombs 54) In the
Jerry Falwell, an American Southern Baptist pastor, was considered the leader of the fundamentalist anti-gay movement. In almost every speech Falwell made, there were references to the “growing clout of homosexuals.” Once Reagan was elected President, Falwell took credit for Reagan’s win and vowed to continue his pro-life and anti-gay agenda. Following Reagan’s inauguration, Reagan’s budget spending posed significant cuts to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which would pose a threat to the growing epidemic. In April of 1985, the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, Margaret Heckler, spoke for the extent of the Reagan administration’s involvement with the disease saying, “We must conquer AIDS before it affects the heterosexual population…the general population. We have a very strong public interest in stopping AIDS before it spreads outside the risk groups, before it becomes an overwhelming problem.” With Heckler’s statement, the Department of Health and Human Services changed their name to The Department of Health and Heterosexual Services. The reasoning towards the federal government’s homophobic response to AIDS is examined in the book Inside Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories edited by