Stigma In The Early Years
When the first few cases of AIDS emerged, people believed the disease was only contracted by men who had sex with men. The CDC called this infection GRIDS, or gay-related immunodeficiency syndrome. Shortly after, the CDC published a case definition calling the disease AIDS.
Public response was negative in the early years of the epidemic. In 1983, a doctor in New York was threatened with eviction, leading to the first AIDS discrimination lawsuit.
Bathhouses across the country closed due to high-risk sexual activity. Some schools also barred children with HIV from attending.
In 1987, the United States placed a travel ban on visitors and immigrants with HIV. President Obama lifted this ban in 2010.
The United States government resisted funding needle exchange programs due to the war on drugs. NEPs were shown to be effective at reducing HIV transmission. Some believe that this resistance accounts for 4,400 to 9,700 avoidable transmissions.
Following The Politics Of Blood Bans
Prior to the epidemic, U.S. blood banks did not screen for HIV. When they started doing so in 1985, men who had sex with men were banned from donating blood. In December 2015, the FDA lifted some of its restrictions. Current policy says that donors can give blood if they have not had sexual contact with another man for at least one year.
How Did Hiv Spread From Kinshasa
The area around Kinshasa is full of transport links, such as roads, railways and rivers. The area also had a growing sex trade around the time that HIV began to spread. The high population of migrants and sex trade might explain how HIV spread along these infrastructure routes. By 1937, it had reached Brazzaville, about 120km west of Kinshasa.
The lack of transport routes into the North and East of the country accounts for the significantly fewer reports of infections there at the time.11
By 1980, half of all infections in DR Congo were in locations outside of the Kinshasa area, reflecting the growing epidemic.12
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What Happened In The 1980s In The Usa
People sometimes say that HIV started in the 1980s in the United States of America , but in fact this was just when people first became aware of HIV and it was officially recognised as a new health condition.
In 1981, a few cases of rare diseases were being reported among gay men in New York and California, such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma and a lung infection called PCP.1516 No one knew why these cancers and opportunistic infections were spreading, but they concluded that there must be an infectious ‘disease’ causing them.
At first the disease was called all sorts of names relating to the word ‘gay’.17 It wasn’t until mid-1982 that scientists realised the ‘disease’ was also spreading among other populations such as haemophiliacs and heroin users.1819 By September that year, the ‘disease’ was finally named AIDS.20
It was only in 1983 that the HIV virus was isolated and identified by researchers at the Pasteur Institute in France. Originally called Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus the virus was confirmed as the cause of AIDS, when scientists working at the USA National Cancer Institute isolated the same virus and called it HTLV-III. LAV and HTLV-III were later acknowledged to be the same.
Through Blood Transfusions Or Organ Transplants
Currently, HIV infection is rarely transmitted through blood transfusions or organ transplants.
Since 1985 in most developed countries, all blood collected for transfusion is tested for HIV, and when possible, some blood products are treated with heat to eliminate the risk of HIV infection. The current risk of HIV infection from a single blood transfusion is estimated to be less than 1 in about 2 million in the United States. However, in many developing countries, blood and blood products are not screened for HIV or are not screened as stringently. There, the risk remains substantial.
HIV has been transmitted when organs from infected donors were unknowingly used as transplants. HIV transmission is unlikely to occur when corneas or certain specially treated tissues are transplanted.
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Where Did Aids Come From
Scientists have traced the origin of HIV back to chimpanzees and simian immunodeficiency virus , an HIV-like virus that attacks the immune system of monkeys and apes.
In 1999, researchers identified a strain of chimpanzee SIV called SIVcpz, which was nearly identical to HIV. Chimps, the scientist later discovered, hunt and eat two smaller species of monkeysred-capped mangabeys and greater spot-nosed monkeysthat carry and infect the chimps with two strains of SIV. These two strains likely combined to form SIVcpz, which can spread between chimpanzees and humans.
SIVcpz likely jumped to humans when hunters in Africa ate infected chimps, or the chimps infected blood got into the cuts or wounds of hunters. Researchers believe the first transmission of SIV to HIV in humans that then led to the global pandemic occurred in 1920 in Kinshasa, the capital and largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The virus spread may have spread from Kinshasa along infrastructure routes via migrants and the sex trade.
In the 1960s, HIV spread from Africa to Haiti and the Caribbean when Haitian professionals in the colonial Democratic Republic of Congo returned home. The virus then moved from the Caribbean to New York City around 1970 and then to San Francisco later in the decade.
International travel from the United States helped the virus spread across the rest of the globe.
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Whats Happening In The Body After Hiv Infection
To understand why recently infected people are more likely to transmit HIV to others, we need to look at whats going on in the body after HIV infection occurs.
After someone becomes infected with HIV, the virus begins to replicate very quickly and the amount of virus in the body and bodily fluids rises rapidly. In some individuals, this takes its toll on the body and can cause fever, fatigue, night sweats, headache, diarrhea, sore throat and/or a rash. These symptoms generally appear about two weeks after infection occurs.3 Other individuals who become infected notice no symptoms at all during this period.
A few weeks after infection, the bodys immune system begins to fight back against the virus. An important part of this immune response includes the production of anti-HIV antibodiessmall proteins made by certain immune cells, which can destroy HIV and prevent HIV from multiplying. Once antibodies to HIV have been produced, HIV replication begins to slow down and the amount of virus in the body gradually decreases. Unfortunately, antibodies cannot fully control HIV infection.
The amount of virus in the bodily fluids is highest during the acute HIV infection stage. After antibodies are produced, the viral load slowly decreases but does not stabilize at a lower level until up to six months after infection.5,6,7,8,9,10
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The Aids Epidemic Arises
Though HIV arrived in the United States around 1970, it didnt come to the publics attention until the early 1980s.
In 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report about five previously healthy homosexual men becoming infected with Pneumocystis pneumonia, which is caused by the normally harmless fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii. This type of pneumonia, the CDC noted, almost never affects people with uncompromised immune systems.
The following year, The New York Times published an alarming article about the new immune system disorder, which, by that time, had affected 335 people, killing 136 of them. Because the disease appeared to affect mostly homosexual men, officials initially called it gay-related immune deficiency, or GRID.
Though the CDC discovered all major routes of the diseases transmissionas well as that female partners of AIDS-positive men could be infectedin 1983, the public considered AIDS a gay disease. It was even called the gay plague for many years after.
In September of 1982, the CDC used the term AIDS to describe the disease for the first time. By the end of the year, AIDS cases were also reported in a number of European countries.
Homeless People And Intravenous Drug Users In New York
A volunteer social worker called Betty Williams, a Quaker who worked with the homeless in New York from the seventies and early eighties onwards, has talked about people at that time whose death would be labelled as “junkie flu” or “the dwindles”. In an interview for the Act Up Oral History Project in 2008, she said: “Of course, the horror stories came, mainly concerning women who were injection-drug users … who had PCP pneumonia , and were told that they just had bronchitis.” She continues: “I actually believe that AIDS kind of existed among this group of people first, because if you look back, there was something called junkie pneumonia, there was something called the dwindles that addicts got, and I think this was another early AIDS population way too helpless to ever do anything for themselves on their own behalf.”
Julia Epstein writes in her book Altered Conditions: Disease, Medicine and Storytelling that: “As we uncover more of the early history of HIV infection, it becomes clear that by at least the 1970s the virus was already making major inroads into the immune systems of a number of diverse populations in the United States and had for some time been causing devastation in several countries in Africa.”
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The Development Of Hiv Vaccines
HIV virions CDC Public Health Image Library
At a time when many infectious diseases were being brought or kept under control with global vaccination efforts in the 1990s, the human immunodeficiency virus , only identified in 1984, infected millions worldwide. From 1990 to 2014 the number of people living with HIV rose from 8 million to 36.9 million since the beginning of the HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome epidemic, AIDS has claimed more than 34 million lives.
HIV is a major public health concern not only because it cant yet be prevented by vaccination, but also because those it infects are infected for life with a virus that targets their immune system – making them more prone to other infections. The virus kills immune T helper cells called CD4+ cells, which are the coordinators of the human immune system. This is where the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome name comes from: when HIV kills enough CD4+ cells, the infected persons immune system is unable to fight off infections it could ordinarily control. When the number of CD4+ cells drops below a certain point, a person is considered to have progressed from HIV infection to AIDS. People with AIDS are more susceptible to many types of infections, including those it could normally fight off, including types of pneumonia, tuberculosis, and shingles, as well as certain cancers.
This particular virus, however, poses unique challenges to vaccine development.
Are There Other Theories About How The Virus Could Have Gotten Into Humans
There are several competing theories, ranging from implausible conspiracies to arguments grounded in extensive research. The best-known of the latter, the “OPV/AIDS” theory, was exhaustively detailed in the 1999 book The River, by author Edward Hooper. As many as a million Africans were given oral polio vaccines between 1957 and 1960. Hooper says witnesses have told him that a few batches of those vaccines were “grown” in chimp cells at a lab in Kisangani, a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — and that the chimp cells, and thus the vaccines, could have contained SIVs that jumped into humans. “There are highly significant correlations between the places where this vaccine was administered and the places where â¦ AIDS first appeared on the planet four to 20 years later,” Hooper says.
The majority of HIV researchers subscribe to the bushmeat theory and raise several arguments against the OPV theory. Hahn’s recent research confirming that HIV-1 M and N arose from Pan troglodytes troglodytes chimps in Cameroon presents one problem: The Kisangani lab is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and it’s home to a different subspecies of chimp than the one that was the source of HIV-1 M and N. However, it is possible that the chimps used in the Kisangani experiments were not from the area. In the spring of 2006, Hooper found a paper indicating that at least one of eight chimps at the Kisangani lab was a Pan troglodytes troglodytes.
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Donor History Questionnaire And Donor Interview
According to the haemotherapy guidelines, the state of health and pre-existing relevant diseases have to be assessed by using a donor history questionnaire and a confidential interview. This can help to identify and defer persons whose donation could represent a health risk to themselves or could be associated with the risk of transmitting a disease to others. For further queries and explanations a physician has to be available. The medical history should cover all issues of the donor selection criteria of the haemotherapy guidelines. These constitute a legally binding basis for decision-making in selecting donors. Since 2015 an updated standardised donor history questionnaire is available , and its application is recommended by Vote 41 of the German Advisory Committee Blood .
Perinatally HIV-infected children who since birth have been effectively treated with antiviral drugs for years may be antibody-negative due to early suppression of HIV replication and could theoretically become potential blood donors. They may have no measurable viral load in plasma but HIV DNA in their blood cells . By declaration of the HIV infection and/or disclosure of the continuous use of anti-retroviral drugs they are excluded from donating blood.
Origin And Distribution Of Sivcpz
Of the many primate lentiviruses that have been identified, SIVcpz has been of particular interest because of its close genetic relationship to HIV-1 . However, studies of this virus have proven to be challenging because of the endangered status of chimpanzees. The first isolates of SIVcpz were all derived from animals housed in primate centers or sanctuaries, although infection was rare in these populations. Collective analyses of nearly 2,000 wild-caught or captive-born apes identified fewer than a dozen SIVcpz positive individuals . Because other primate species, such as sooty mangabeys and African green monkeys, are much more commonly infected, both in captivity and in the wild , this finding raised doubts about whether chimpanzees represented a true SIV reservoir. To resolve this conundrum, our laboratory developed noninvasive diagnostic methods that detect SIVcpz specific antibodies and nucleic acids in chimpanzee fecal and urine samples with high sensitivity and specificity . These technical innovations, combined with genotyping methods for species and subspecies confirmation as well as individual identification, permitted a comprehensive analysis of wild-living chimpanzee populations throughout central Africa.
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How Can I Protect Myself
The best way to protect yourself from HIV is to not have sex and not share needles.
If you decide to have sex, reduce your risk of getting HIV by:
- using a condom every time you have sex
- getting tested for HIV and making sure all partners do too
- reducing the number of sexual partners you have
- getting tested and treated for STDs having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection
Understanding how HIV spreads can help you make safer choices about sex. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about HIV and if you want to get tested.
Is There A Period When The Virus Isnt Transmittable
HIV is transmittable soon after its introduced into the body. During this phase, the bloodstream contains higher levels of HIV, which makes it easy to transmit it to others.
Since not everyone has early symptoms of HIV, getting tested is the only way to know if the virus has been contracted. An early diagnosis also allows an HIV-positive person to begin treatment. Proper treatment can eliminate their risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.
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Frequency Of Administration Type And Amount Of Blood Products
Blood components: Since 2004 only 2 HIV transmissions through blood components have been reported in Germany . HIV is transmitted if 1 HID is present in the administered blood component . There is evidence that immediate initiation of HIV post exposure prophylaxis can prevent an infection after needle stick injury in individual cases .
Plasma derivatives: Transmission of HIV by plasma derivatives occurred between 1979 and 1989 primarily via factor VIII, factor IX and prothrombin complex concentrates . HIV has never been transmitted via albumin, antithrombin III and i.m. or i.v. immunoglobulin preparations, not even before the introduction of specific process steps for the depletion and inactivation of viruses. The implementation of donor selection, antibody screening and inactivation procedures has made a transmission of enveloped viruses no longer possible.
Interval Of Mild Or No Symptoms
After the first symptoms disappear, most people, even without treatment, have no symptoms or only occasionally have a few mild symptoms. This interval of few or no symptoms may last from 2 to 15 years. The symptoms that most commonly occur during this interval include the following:
Swollen lymph nodes, felt as small, painless lumps in the neck, under the arms, or in the groin
White patches in the mouth due to candidiasis
Some people progressively lose weight and have a mild fever or diarrhea.
These symptoms may result from HIV infection or from opportunistic infections that develop because HIV has weakened the immune system.
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