The Epidemic Of Hiv / Aids

1607 Words Oct 5th, 2016 7 Pages
Thirty-five years on June 5, 1981, what began with five cases of a rare lung infection (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) among five otherwise healthy gay men eventually emerged as global health crisis, which in 1982, was formally identified as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Another two years would pass before scientists were able to isolate the retrovirus that causes AIDS, which in 1984 was termed human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV). Although a successful discovery, in the absence of a proven treatment, HIV and AIDS had free rein in which to leave in its wake a global path of fear, illness, and death. To understand the totality of HIV/AIDS, consider the following. Since the onset of the pandemic more than 70 million people have been infected with HIV, 35 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses, and globally, at the end of 2015, an estimated 39.8 people were living with HIV (World Health Organization, 2016). Notwithstanding the global significance of HIV/AIDS, this paper, aside from a historical overview of HIV/AIDS, will focus solely on the continuing public health threat of HIV/AIDS in the United States.
Historical Overview of HIV/AIDS The year 1981 remains synonymous with the discovery of AIDS. However, this malignant syndrome did not develop overnight. To understand the emergence of HIV/AIDS as a global pandemic, we must remember this virus had the advantage of historical inconspicuousness. To explain, as early as 1930, a cross-spices viral…

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