AIDS is a disease that destroys a person’s immune system. AIDS is a blood born pathogen. It was originally only found in gay men. This led to people calling it the “gay men disease.” They use to think that this was punishment from God for their being gay. Then researchers found out some drug users were also getting the HIV virus, which leads to AIDS, from sharing needles. After that, it was referred to as the “gay man and druggy disease.”
All of the labels AIDS has been given are completely wrong; even heterosexual, sober people can get AIDS. Considering the many ways of contracting HIV/AIDS it seems foolish to limit the causes to sex and drug use. Jonathan Mann wrote:
We do not know how many people developed AIDS in the 1970s, or indeed in the years before. We do now know that the origin of AIDS and the virus HIV was probably in Africa. What we also know is: “The dominant feature of this first period was silence for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was unknown and transmission was not accompanied by signs or symptoms salient enough to be noticed. While rare, sporadic case reports of AIDS and sero-archaeological studies have documented human infections with HIV prior to 1970, available data suggest that the current pandemic started in the mid- to late 1970s. By 1980, HIV has spread to at least five continents (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia). During this period of silence, spread was unchecked by awareness or any preventive action and approximately 100,000-300,000 persons may have been infected. (qtd in “History”)
The first awareness of AIDS was in June of 1981, when they found traces of PCP in five men in Los Angeles, California. This event occured when they believed only gay men could get the disease, so they were not worried about it spreading to heterosexual people. This was all also before the method of transmission was known; they thought a
Cited: Kaliher, William B. "Partner Notification of HIV Status Should Be Mandatory." Opposing Viewpoints: AIDS. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Minnesota West Comm. & Tech. College. 10 Feb. 2010 "CDC - Condom Effectiveness - Male Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 8 Feb. 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2010. “History of AIDS up to 1986” Avert.org. Ed. Kanabus, Annabel and Fredriksson, Jenni. Web. 18 Feb. 2010. "NINR FOCUS: Biobehavioral Science and HIV/AIDS." National Instute of Nursing Research. Minnesota West Comm. & Tech. College, Jan. 2008. Web. 18 Feb. 2010. | Pinkerton, Steven D, and Paul R. Abramson. "Condoms and the prevention of AIDS." American Scientist. 85.4 (July-August 1997): 364. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Minnesota West Comm. & Tech. College. web 10 Feb. 2010 | | Park, Alice. “The Man Who Could Beat AIDS.” Time. Jan 12, 2010. 44-46. Print.