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Lecture

History 2185 Lecture Notes - Sexually Transmitted Infection, Aids, Rock Hudson


Department
History
Course Code
HIS 2185
Professor
Monda Helpern

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March, 18, 2013
HIV and AIDS
*Exam:
A) Conditions or situations are the descriptive facts needs to be detailed only focus on acceptable or objectionable
-Clues for the items beginning of term onward and very general deals more with start and middle of term and B is
more focused in the later part of the term
B) Describing the items and the ways they changed attitudes is the factual part and significance is the explain
whether we believe changes were good or bad
-After the sexual revolution sex was liberated and people weren’t concerned with the consequences until AIDS
came in the early 1980`s when the revolution had lost steam
-The emergence of HIV and AIDS was the official death of the sexual revolution and it highlighted the fact that
permissive sex and even monogamous sex and intravenous drug use could be deadly
-Like any sexually transmitted disease AIDS was fraught with judgments about how and why someone contracted it
and this hindered the fight against it and education about HIV and AIDS as well as medical intervention and general
compassion were delayed because of the issues concerning the alleged immorality of those who had it
-AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease and it was mostly transferred through bodily fluids from genitals and blood
which meant people could get it through vaginal, oral, and anal sex and it spread through a virus in the fluids
-It could also be spread through contaminated blood passed through needles and syringes in drug use but both
these ways were laden with moral and ethical issues and judgements of the quality of a person
-There were ways to get it without the scrutiny like through contaminated blood transfusions, mother to fetus
exposure, and mother to baby exposure through child birth and breastfeeding
-There were stories about accidental exposure that really scared people working in hospitals or the police
-These ways were above moral scrutiny because they were seen as innocent victims because they were doing
nothing to put themselves at risk
-The AIDS crisis raised many issues about the intersection of medical issues and ethical issues specifically doctors
making decisions about whether they would treat people with HIV/AIDS and whether they should be allowed in
public hospitals
-It also raised questions about who was a deserving victim and who was innocent and whether anyone could be so
heinous that they deserved to life and die by such a disease or is everyone just innocent in the epidemic?
-It also raised questions about civil liberties versus privacy rights of individuals and whether they should be granted
privacy or are they obligated to let people close to them know to protect them or to let insurance know
-Some believed it was just like any other disease and that not everyone needed to know if they were not at risk
and some even said if they were at risk the right to privacy overtook the public’s right to know and safety
-Another issue is its evolution from in the beginning being a society filled with panic and distain to one with
compassion and more education
-Since 1981 AIDS has caused 30 million deaths world wide and HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus
infection and AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and it is widely believed that HIV was first
transmitted to humans in the early 20th century in Africa through contact with an infected monkey
-Scientists aren’t 100% sure about this but that is the generally accepted idea and it first became known in the
homosexual community in 1981 largely in urban centres where there was a large gay population
-In 1981 young gay men began getting sick in alarming numbers with flue like symptoms and no one knew what
the disease was for a while and they called it the gay man’s cancer but they did know there was an
immunodeficiency and the body couldn’t fight infection so small sicknesses became fatal
-It usually caused the infected people to die of secondary infections as a result of a virus and many died of
tuberculosis, cancer, and other diseases in large numbers because by time they went to their doctors they already
had full blown AIDS
-Today AIDS is thought of in two stages and the first is the HIV stage where one has the virus but it doesn’t act up
right away and there are little symptoms and today people can live a relatively normal life with the medications
available but this wasn’t like that in the 80’s
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