By SS and OH
Seeds: HIV is a virus that if left untreated can lead to AIDS. Once you get HIV, you have it for life, and it basically attacks your immune system, making you more likely to get infections or infection-related cancers. AIDS is the final stage of the infection, however, if treated properly, not everyone who has HIV gets AIDS. People who get AIDS often don’t live longer than 3 years. You can get HIV from sexual activities or using unclean needles or syringes (there has to be an exchange of bodily fluids).
Core: In 1981, a mysterious epidemic spread across the United States. Doctors were baffled when five gay men were diagnosed with a rare lung disease in San Francisco. Further confusion emerged when others in the gay community developed autoimmune deficiencies and cancer across America. After two years of increasing cases and medical research, medics coined the term AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) to describe the disease affecting the population. By 1983, 3,064 were diagnosed and 1,292 had died.
Skin: Many Americans lived in fear of the disease, especially since the idea of homosexuality was still controversial and many afflicted belonged to that community. Campaigns were launched, attempting to spread the message of safe sex to prevent the disease, however, Congress later refused to fund them because they "[promoted] or [encouraged], directly or indirectly, homosexual activities.” Other campaigns were launched in response by other communities to convince the public that the disease was affecting all people, not just white gay males. To look deeper inside of the campaigns of the time and how they affected the public’s view of the disease, click here.
Leaves: If you haven’t already, read yesterday’s article about new trials regarding HIV vaccines in South Africa here to find out more about current medical efforts to stop this disease.
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