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.
Throughout the Age of AIDS film many topics that were related to AIDS were brought up that I did not know anything about before. I did not know that there could so many strings attached to a disease and have such an influence in people’s lives whether it was negative or positive.
This, in fact, was something I liked about the video because it revealed to me exactly how much I have learned over the course of this class. An example of this is when Don Francis was discussed in the film. Don Francis is a CDC member I recognized from the Randy Shilt’s book, And the Band Played On, and in other additional readings from class. One thing Francis was known for was his public speaking about blunt attitude. In the film, it even mentions Francis talking to potential donors trying to receive funding for research, so they could find a cure to the epidemic. In the documentary Francis says “I pounded the table and yelled at them asking them how many people they wanted to kill. And I just said [unintelligible] "Just tell us the number. You want 10 dead? Do you want 20 dead? Do you want 100 dead?" That didn't go down very well,” (Cran). This quote is significant because it shows how despite the clear need that funding was needed, high ranking government agencies were still being languid in their decision. Most of the time this was due to them just not wanting to to lose money if they did not have to. Unfortunately, this also reveals that their motives for health care is to make money solely. Knowing all of this is also significant to me because just a couple months ago, I knew nothing about Don Francis. Now I know way
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
We as a class were given a variety of health subjects to choose from to undertake a research project that counted as a huge part of our grades. I picked the study of epidemiology to be the area I would focus on extensively for the next three months of that semester. This obviously meant that I had to read and learn a couple of books to get a clear idea of how I was going to present my idea and findings. As I read through some of these books, I really became intrigued. The aspects of global health issues, biostatistics and health policies to name a few really jolted me into considering this area of study as a potential future career choice, as oppose as to just a research project. I was really fascinated as I read and came across the range of issues that public health officials such as epidemiologists had to solve or were in the process of solving in inventive ways. I obtained a crucial but very methodical understanding of the very issues that is being faced in the world of health care today. Ever since this class came and went, I have been highly focused on public health issues through other classes and
Before reading this article, I had minimal knowledge of AIDs and HIVs. My basic knowledge was that they are highly contagious diseases that can result in death. I knew that it starts out as HIV, which is an immunodeficiency virus, and if it isn’t treated correctly, it will escalate into AIDs. Something that spoke
My unwavering interest in infectious diseases began in middle school when I read the book, The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston that intricately describes the Ebola virus. While the description of how the virus destroys the human body are unpleasant, this virus fascinated me. Consequently, in my spare time I read about other infectious diseases, such as cholera and tuberculosis, on Wikipedia and other web pages for my personal enjoyment. Years later, I participated in Princeton Model Congress in high school where I first learned about public health. Participants made mock congressional bills to be passed in a congress comprised of high school and college students in order to implement a national change. My mock bill advocated for the incorporation of HIV tests within annual physicals. The purpose of this bill was to ensure that more people became knowledgeable about their status and with this knowledge, HIV positive individuals can receive care faster and take proactive measures to prevent infecting others with this virus. As I researched various facts about the HIV epidemic and how HIV impacts communities in Washington, D.C., my interest in public health evolved even though I did not know of the official name, public health. At the time, I wanted to be a lawyer and averted from anything science or math related. Yet, I cared about my community and I wanted to make a difference. I rediscovered my interest in public health in college as a biology major.
The spread of the disease was growing and people were dying and researchers were puzzled. The epidemic of HIV left millions died and worries across the world.
I have always been aware of global issues and needing to understand what is happening in the world has always been important to me. However, I never understood global concerns through a health paradigm. Many of the concepts presented in this course were not new to me, as I have been an active participant in global issues and organizations, such as Spread the Net Campaign to end malaria, as well as many different human rights causes. However, the new insight I gained was in regards to
However, AIDS is not a disease; it is a symptom that derives from being infected by a virus called HIV, human immunodeficiency virus. While AIDS and HIV are two different sickness, HIV is the leading cause of AIDS, killing millions. HIV was first discovered in the late 1970s in the United States and AIDS was soon later on termed in 1982 as a term that describes the symptom of HIV (“Where did HIV come from?”). AIDS/HIV existed before, but scientists and doctors never noticed it until 1981 when large lymph nodes emerged and intrigued researchers such as Dr. Mathilde Krim (“Thirty Years of HIV/AIDS”). The disease afflicted many other people before its discovery, but it is only first record in the late 1970s. Soon, the number of AIDS cases and deaths increased drastically, going from 159 to 2,807 cases per year in two years (“Thirty Years of HIV/AIDS”). The term AIDS and HIV are used interchangeably as AIDS is only a name of the symptom that HIV causes. The advancement of technology and understanding of the sickness allowed doctors to understand the cause of AIDS/HIV and uncover more cases each year. With the technology in the world today, testing for AIDS/HIV requires only a blood sample and analysis; there is no confusion on whether the symptoms are of a different disease. However, even though technology advanced greatly over the years, AIDS, like the Plague is incurable during
During childhood we are given vaccinations and as we get older we are given more. These vaccinations are to help our bodies protect us against various strains of diseases and viruses. Now in the twentieth century there are multiple crippling diseases that are almost if not already extinct. All of this is due to vaccinations and public health recommendations. To have the health system we have today we first had to create and develop public health, bring this entity into our decade and then continue to manage the framework to benefit the requirements of today’s health topics.
I was drawn to the idea of not only focusing on one-on-one patient care that doctors provide, but also solving problems that affect the health of entire populations. The study of disease and health within populations; for instance, preventing disease, promoting health, and reducing health problems between groups are the main reasons I want to pursue an M.P.H focusing on epidemiology. These are my strongest interests because I believe they are important in improving our world’s health.
A famous epidemiologist once said “Epidemiologist is like a bikini: what is revealed is interesting; what is concealed is crucial” (Duesberg). Epidemiology is the study of diseases and informs the public about health epidemics and new health standards put in place. A typical day for an epidemiologist is as follows: they usually work in laboratories, businesses, and offices where they discover many diseases and conduct research while also finding cures for new malignant diseases. Epidemiologist also focuses on medicine for example, they create new antibiotics for vicious diseases or create vaccines to help combat diseases. In order to become an epidemiologist, it would take 4 years as an undergraduate and obtain a Masters in Biology or Public Health. During high school, it is required to take 1 year of Biology and Chemistry or to obtain some kind of science background in order to help me get better prepared. In this paper, I will argue why I selected to pursue a career as an Epidemiologist based on prior knowledge and interest in public health & Biology, health epidemics and experiments/case studies.
In the 1980s, a mysterious disease began to take the lives of Americans. With the cause unknown, a fear grew among Americans. An unusually high rate of people was becoming sick with strange and rare diseases. When experimental treatments failed to work, people died. This mysterious disease is what we now know as HIV–Human Immunodeficiency Virus. In the past thirty-five years, the HIV has taken many turns in history. Although we do not hear about HIV and AIDS now, it is still a prevalent issue in the United States and in the world.
HIV is global pandemic stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, weakens the immune system by destroying the important cells in our body that fights against disease and infection. Our immune system is able to clear out most of the viruses from our body, but once you have HIV , you have it for lifelong. HIV can hide in our body cells for long time and it can attack the T cells and CD4 cells, a key part of our immune system to fight infections and diseases. Overtime, the HIV may attack so many of CD4 cells and our body is no more able to fight against infections. When this happens, HIV can lead to AIDS, the final stage of HIV infection. HIV can be transmitted through sexual contact, injection or drug use, pregnancy, breast feeding, occupational exposure, and rarely through blood transfusion and organ