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HIV/AIDS – An International Concern
November 16th 2009

Abbreviations and acronyms

AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
ARV :Antiretroviral (drug)
CDC:Centers for Disease Control
G8:Group of Eight
GFATM:The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria HIV:Human Immunodeficiency Virus
NGO :Nongovernmental Organization
TERG:Technical Evaluation and Reference Group
UN:United Nations
UNAIDS:Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS
UNESCO:United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization OECS:Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
PEPFAR:President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief
USAID :United States Agency for International Development

“It is estimated that 33 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, 95 percent of whom live in developing countries. In 2007, approximately 2.5 million people were newly infected with the virus. HIV/AIDS has killed more than 25 million people worldwide. More than two million people died of AIDS-related causes in 2007. AIDS is the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth-leading cause of death worldwide.” (The GFATM)

The documentary by Renata Simone entitled “The Age of Aids” gave a very concise record of the origin of AIDS to organizations and agencies around the world that scale up prevention and treatment programs in the fight to stop the spread this deadly disease. During the early 1980s doctors reported a case of a rare type of pneumonia and further publications in medical journals of this rare type of pneumonia unearthed over 100 more reports of this mysterious disease to the CDC. The first recognized case of AIDS as reported in the documentary occurred in the United States in the early 1980s. A number of gay men in New York and California suddenly began to develop rare opportunistic infections and cancers that were resistant to any form treatment.

During this time, AIDS did not yet have a name, but it quickly became obvious that all the men were suffering from a common syndrome. The discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was made soon after by Dr. Luc Montagnier of France. This discovery was controversial as an American Scientist Robert Gallo claimed he discovered HIV. However, the scientific community agreed to credit Dr. Montagnier with the discovery.

HIV was confirmed by the CDC to be a virus and more specifically a lentvirus which means “slow virus” because they took a long time to produce any adverse effects in the body.[1] Many scientists report different theories to explain the origin of the AID virus.

Theories such as the Oral Polio Vaccine theory, which were given to over one million people in Congo, Ruanda and Urundi in the late 1950s was accused of being developed or cultivated from local infected chimps. There is also the Contaminated Needle theory, the Colonialism theory and the Conspiracy theory.

Regardless of the theory, the deadly disease reached alarming numbers in adults and children and according to the UNAIDS Report of 2008, there are 33 million globally with Sub Saharan African having 22,000,000 cases. [2]

In part three of the documentary “The Age of AIDS” it was highlighted that the virus HIV did not remain dormant but replicated by the “billions everyday and mutated”. World leaders such as Nelson Mandela and President Clinton did not approach the epidemic directly at first which lead to political unrest in the United States. In Africa however, the continent reporting the highest number of cases was focused on fighting Apartheid and no emphasis was placed on the growing issues surrounding this disease. In 1996 in a Global AIDS Conference in Vancouver, researchers announced the results of their clinical trial and revealed the anti-retroviral drug which no longer made HIV a “death sentence”. However, the cost of this drug was not affordable by majority of infected persons especially Africans which brought up another issue...
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