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Turning Points In History: The Aids Virus

1818 words - 8 pages

The AIDS virus was a major turning point in world history. Contrary to popular belief, if a person gives blood to or recieves blood from a hospital or blood bank that person will not risk transmitting HIV, a.k.a. human immunodeficiency virus and that person does not risk transmitting AIDS, a.k.a. acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. In addition, “It is now generally accepted that HIV is a descendent of a Simian Immunodeficiency Virus because certain strains of SIVs bear a very close resemblance to HIV-1 and HIV-2, the two types of HIV” (AIDS Doctors).
On June 5, [1981] the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [published] a…. report describing cases of a rare lung infection … in five young, previously healthy, gay men in Los Angeles. All the men [had] other unusual infections as well, indicating that their immune systems [were] not working; two [had] already died by the time [that this] report [was] published. This… marks the first official reporting of what [would] become known as the AIDS epidemic. (“Timeline of AIDS”)
In 1969, “a fifteen-year-old-boy … in Saint Louis, Missouri … [was] the first known North American know to have died of AIDS” (Kallen 56). The AIDS epidemic is a turning point in world history because it had a big impact on scientific advances made during the turmoil, which helped people to know that this disease was affecting many people all over the world, and not just some people in some small areas.
AIDS has evolved over time. There are a few theories as to how AIDS evolved from HIV, and how HIV evolved from SIV. One theory on how HIV came into existence is the Hunter Theory. This theory is most commonly accepted and it is the belief that “SIVcpv was transferred to humans as a result of chimps being killed and eaten or their blood getting into cuts or wounds on the hunter” (Origin of HIV). Another theory, which takes the hunter theory further, is the contaminated needle theory. It suggests that because enough syringes would cost a lot of money, the healthcare professionals would have used one syringe to inject multiple persons without sterilizing in between injections. (Origin of HIV) This would have rapidly transferred whatever viral particles existed within a person’s blood into another person, increasing the chances of wide spread infection. (Origin of HIV)
AIDS came from two diseases evolving over time, causing confusion over who could and could not transmit the disease, but the evolution of the virus was not the only factor that caused the AIDS epidemic. Because people were not well informed on how the virus transferred among people, so they could not prevent the spread at the outbreak. The confusion over who could and could not transmit the disease was so important because with scientists’ limited knowledge on how it was transmitted, a lot of people got the disease unknowingly. The knowledge of how any disease is transmitted plays a large role in the size of its damage.
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