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    Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues – AIDS and HIV Ar Essay

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    gumentative Persuasive Essays

    AIDS and HIV


    Being one of the most fatal viruses in the nation, AIDS (Acquired

    Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is now a serious public health concern in most major

    U.S. cities and in countries worldwide. Since 1986 there have been impressive

    advances in understanding of the AIDS virus, its mechanisms, and its routes of

    transmission. Even though researchers have put in countless hours, and millions

    of dollars it has not led to a drug that can cure infection with the virus or to

    a vaccine that can prevent it.

    With AIDS being the leading cause of death among

    adults, individuals are now taking more precautions with sexual intercourse, and

    medical facilities are screening blood more thoroughly. Even though HIV ( Human

    Immunodeficieny Virus) can be transmitted through sharing of non sterilize

    needles and syringes, sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, and through most

    bodily fluids, it is not transmitted through casual contact or by biting or

    blood sucking insects.

    Development of the AIDS Epidemic

    The first case of AIDS were reported in 1982, epidemiologists at the

    Center of Disease Control immediately began tracking the disease back wards in

    time as well as forward. They determined that the first cases of AIDS in the

    United States probably occurred in 1977.

    By early 1982, 15 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 foreign

    countries had reports of AIDS cases, however the total remained low: 158 men and

    1 woman. Surprising enough more then 90 percent of the men were homosexual or


    Knowing this more then 70 percent of AIDS victims are homosexual or

    bisexual men, and less then 5 percent are heterosexual adults. Amazing enough

    by December of 1983 there were 3,000 cases of AIDS that had been reported in

    adults from 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and the

    disease had been recognized in 20 other countries. Recognizing the Extent of


    The health of the general homosexual populations in the area with the

    largest number of cases of the new disease was getting looked at a lot closer by

    researchers. For many years physicians knew that homosexual men who reported

    large numbers of sexual partners had more episodes of venereal diseases and were

    at higher risk of hepatitis B virus infection than the rest of the population,

    but conicidentally with the appearance of AIDS,. other debilitating problems

    began to do appear more frequently. The most common was swollen glands, often

    accompanied by extreme fatigue, weight loss, fever, chronic diarrhea, decreased

    levels of blood platelets and fungal infections in the mouth.

    This condition

    was labeled ARC (AIDS Related complex).

    The isolation of HIV in 1983 and 1984 and the development of techniques

    to produce large quantities of the virus paved the way for a battery of tests

    to determined the relationship between AIDS and ARC and the magnitude of the

    carrier problem. Using several different laboratory tests, scientists looked

    for antibodies against the HIV in the blood of AIDS and ARC patients. They

    found that almost 100 percent of those with AIDS or ARC had the antibodies-they

    were seriopostive. In contrast less then one percent of persons with no known

    risk factors were seropositive.

    Definition of AIDS

    AIDS is defined as a disease, at least moderately predictive of defects

    in cell-meditated immunity, occurring in a person with no known cause for

    diminished resistance to that disease.

    Such diseases include Kaposi’s Sarcoma,

    Pneumocystis carnii pneumonia, and serious other opportunistic infections.

    After the discovery of HIV and the development of HIV-antibody test, the case

    definition of AIDS was updated to reflect the role of the virus in causing AIDS,

    but the scope of the definition remained almost the same. Transmission

    HIV is primarily a sexually transmitted disease, it is transmitted by

    both homosexual and bisexual and heterosexual activity. The first recognized

    case was among homosexual and bisexual men. Many numbers of studies have shown

    that men who have sexual partners and those who practice receptive anal

    intercourse are more likely to be infected with HIV than other homosexual men.

    Researchers found a strong connection between HIV infection and rectal trauma,

    enemas before sex, and physical signs of disruption of the tissue lining the


    Homosexual women tend to have a very low incidence of venereal disease

    in general, an AIDS is no exception. Female-to-female transmission is highly

    uncommon, however it has been reported in one case and suggested in another. In

    the reported case, traumatic sex practices apparently resulted in transmission

    of HIV from a woman who had acquired the .

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