The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that attacks the immune system, specifically CD4 cells or T cells. The virus is transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, anal fluids, and breast milk. Historically, HIV has most often been spread through unprotected sex, the sharing of needles for drug use, and through birth. A person with AIDS is very vulnerable to cancer and to life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia. Scientists have traced the origin of HIV back to chimpanzees and simian immunodeficiency virus SIV , an HIV-like virus that attacks the immune system of monkeys and apes.
Gay-related immune deficiency
Talk:Gay-related immune deficiency - Wikipedia
Here, some of those who remember it tell of the real-life agony — and the hope. I t can take a long time for society to see the past clearly. To younger audiences, it may be shocking to learn just how excluded and hidden the gay community was from mainstream life. Homosexuality had only been legal since , the age of consent was still 21 and same-sex civil marriage was a quarter of a century away. That was the furtive environment in which Aids surfaced. The first mysterious cases were reported in the US, where otherwise healthy people began suffering a catastrophic collapse of their immune systems.
History of HIV/AIDS
July 27, Almost everybody who had an interest in the situation was represented there that pleasant summer Tuesday in Washington, including gay-community leaders, federal bureaucrats and the investigative team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC that had taken a lead role in tracking the situation. What was it? A disease that just 13 months earlier had blipped on the CDC's radar screen was rapidly turning epidemic, particularly among gay men and drug addicts.
When HIV first began infecting humans in the s, scientists were unaware of its existence. The medical community, politicians and support organizations have made incredible progress in the fight against this formerly unknown and heavily stigmatized virus. Infection rates have fallen or stabilized in many countries across the world, but we have a long way to go.