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In 1981, a unique and newly recognized syndrome called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ("AIDS") broke out in America. Then very few people knew hardly anything about the disease. Now, we know many facts including the causes, signs, treatment, prevention, testing and more.
AIDS is a major failure of the body's immune system (immunodeficiency). This decreases the body's ability to fight infection and suppress multiplication of abnormal cells, such as cancer. It affects the immune system, including special blood cells (lymphocytes) and cells of the organs (bone marrow, spleen, liver and lymph glands). These cells manufacture antibodies to protect against disease and cancer. AIDS is a secondary immunodeficiency syndrome resulting from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. AIDS is defined as the most severe form of a continuum of illnesses associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Its slow degeneration of the immune system with the development of opportunistic infections, malignancies and frequently, impairment of the central nervous system. AIDS is one stage in the course of the HIV disease, which must be diagnosed by a physician.
Debate around the origin of AIDS has sparked considerable interest and controversy since the beginning of the epidemic. However, in trying to identify where AIDS originated, there is a danger that people may try and use the debate to attribute blame for the disease to particular groups of individuals or certain lifestyles. The first cases of AIDS occurred in the USA in 1981.
The issue of the origin of HIV could go beyond one of sole academic interest, as an understanding of where the virus originated and how it evolved could be crucial in developing a vaccine against HIV and more effective treatments in the future. Further, a knowledge of how the AIDS epidemic emerged could be important in both mapping the future course of the epidemic and developing effective education and prevention programs.