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HIV and AIDS.docx

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Department
History
Course
History 2185
Professor
Monda Helpern
Semester
Winter

Description
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 20 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 March, 18, 2013 -The second stage was the AIDS stage where the virus develops into the active and eventually fatal disease and in the early 1980’s because the virus was unknown and symptom free people only found out they had it once it was too late and in the full blown stages and became very obviously sick -They were emaciated and many patients got horrible skin ulcers because they couldn’t fight infections and usually one had the full disease they died within a year or two but today that time frame is extended to some extent -Even after the disease was better understood and people were diagnosed at the HIV stage medicines for it were in their infancies and in the early years the HIV stage turned full blown after around a decade -In North America because AIDS was first related to homosexuals their “abnormal” sexual practices got it labelled a gay disease but it got more well know in 1985 to the general public -Rock Hudson was an actor in the 1950’s who was very famous and women went crazy for him but he was gay but the general public had no idea but in 1985 he was around 60 years old and it was reported that he was sick and suffering from a mysterious disease but people realized it was AIDS -He went to Paris to get special treatment that wasn’t available in America and he was shown on the news on a stretcher and when he died at the age of 60 his doctors confirmed it was AIDS and people were shocked because they thought he was straight and he was the first major celebrity to die of AIDS and he brought it to the forefront -When it was first discussed new spread that it could be contracted in all kinds of ways like casual contact and not just sexual relations and this is what caused the mass paranoia surrounding AIDS and there were many other reports that you could get it through saliva (but this is unlikely because of the mass amounts needed) -Reports of people who thought they caught AIDS in ways that are now understood as impossible were common -Rock Hudson appeared on the show Dynasty and when the episode aired after he died showed him and an actress kissing and many were later appalled because he had not told her that he was AIDS positive and this raised many questions and concerns in the acting community and about kissing in general -There were great concerns about promiscuity and homosexuality was blamed for making AIDS easier to get and there was a huge move towards abstinence and this resulted in gay bathhouses becoming targets of anti-gay movements
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