The Cultural Response To Hiv
Public response was negative in the early years of the epidemic.
In 1983, Dr. Joseph Sonnabend in New York was threatened with eviction for treating people with HIV, leading to the first AIDS discrimination lawsuit.
Bathhouses across the country closed due to sexual activity and the associated risk. Some schools also barred children with HIV from attending.
U.S. blood banks started screening for HIV in 1985, and men who had sex with men were banned from donating blood . first lifted some of its restrictions in December 2015. The FDA loosened its restrictions again in 2020, motivated by the blood shortage caused by COVID-19.)
In 1987, the United States placed a travel ban on visitors and immigrants with HIV.
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.
In 1997, researchers calculated that this resistance accounted for .
The number of avoidable transmissions may be even higher.
A 2005 study looked at people in New York City who used injectable drugs and had been admitted to a drug detoxification program. The researchers concluded that the legalization of syringe exchange programs helped reduce HIV prevalence among this group from 50 percent in 1990 to 17 percent in 2002.
A Single Person Brought Aids To America
Geneticists have traced the arrival of AIDS in America to a single person who came from Haiti in 1969.
In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, University of Arizona researchers analyzed archived blood samples from the first five U.S. AIDS patients. All were recent Haitian immigrants. The geneticists then looked at genetic sequences from another 117 people with HIV subtype B, the most common strain of the virus.
After assembling the sequences, the researchers modeled the probability of various HIV family trees. Did the virus go from Africa to the United States? The chance of that, they found, was just .003 percent. Did it go from Africa to Haiti and then to the U.S.? The chance of that was 99.8 percent — within the scope of the model, a near certainty.
They found that Haiti, which contains more HIV strains than any other country, likely served as a breeding ground for the disease between1966 and 1969, at which point a single person carried it to the UnitedStates. From there, the rest is tragic history.
The findings won’t directly produce cures or treatments. They might, however, give insight into how the disease evolved and spread — and that, in turn, could guide research. The next step: tracing the disease back from Haiti to central Africa, where researchers believe it was acquired by visiting Haitian workers.
Why Is Haiti Significant
In the 1960s, the ‘B’ subtype of HIV-1 made its way to Haiti. This is thought to have happened because many Haitians had been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo and had then returned to Haiti. Initially, Haitians were blamed for starting the HIV epidemic, and suffered severe racism, stigma and discrimination as a result.
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Origin And Epidemic Emergence
Several of the theories of HIV origin accept the established knowledge of the HIV/SIV phylogenetic relationships, and also accept that bushmeat practice was the most likely cause of the initial transfer to humans. All of them propose that the simultaneous epidemic emergences of four HIV groups in the late 19th-early 20th century, and the lack of previous known emergences, are explained by new factor that appeared in the relevant African regions in that timeframe. These new factor would have acted either to increase human exposures to SIV, to help it to adapt to the human organism by mutation , or to cause an initial burst of transmissions crossing an epidemiological threshold, and therefore increasing the probability of continued spread.
Genetic studies of the virus suggested in 2008 that the most recent common ancestor of the HIV-1 M group dates back to the Belgian Congo city of Léopoldville , circa 1910. Proponents of this dating link the HIV epidemic with the emergence of colonialism and growth of large colonial African cities, leading to social changes, including a higher degree of non-monogamous sexual activity, the spread of prostitution, and the concomitant high frequency of genital ulcer diseases in nascent colonial cities.
Social changes and urbanization
Colonialism in Africa
Who Was Patient Zero
The first verified case of HIV derives from a 1959 blood sample of an individual who lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, scientists cannot say whether this person was the first human with HIV, or the first documented case, known as patient zero.
There are numerous documented cases before this one in which the patterns surrounding death suggest HIV as the cause. However, there is no way to prove this through a blood sample. The 1959 sample is the first recorded case in which a blood sample can confirm HIV infection but may not be the first official emergence of HIV.
For many years, Gaétan Dugas was presumed patient zero in the U.S., originally termed patient O for outside Southern California. He was a flight attendant suspected of picking up HIV in Africa or Haiti and bringing it back to the U.S., transmitting it to dozens of men before his death.
However, an analysis into genetics in 2016 found that the viral strain Dugas had was already spreading among men in New York before he began visiting the citys gay bars. This means that Dugas was not the initial individual with HIV. It seems he was an early case but was by no means the first.
There is limited actual knowledge on how the epidemic entered the U.S. because of the challenges in tracing HIV to one individual.
, a virus that attacks the immune system of apes and monkeys.
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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.”
Listen To Audio Of Ryan Whites Mom
Ryans mom, Jeanne White Ginder, recounts the early years of struggle, pain, and triumph.
Transcription of Audio:
Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS on December 17, 1984. He was one of the first childrenone of the first hemophiliacsto come down with AIDS, and it was definitely a time when there was no education and there was hardly any information on AIDS at the time.
So I was living in Kokomo, Indiana, and Ryan was attending Western Middle School, and it was something that I really didn’t even believe he had. I felt like, “How could he have AIDS?” He was a hemophiliac since birth, and I just felt like “How could he be one of the first ones?” I felt like somehow, in some way, it was going to be something else. I really never really believed he had AIDS for quite a while.
At that time, of course, he had no precautions or anything. There were no precautions at the hospital. And all of a sudden the CDC shows up and the CDC started putting in all kinds of precautions, you know: the gowns, the gloves, the masks, and so forth, and started talking to the nurses and so forth. It became apparent just like overnight that all of a sudden things were different.
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Is There Only One Type Of Hiv
No, there are actually two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2, and they have slightly different origins.
HIV-1 is closely related to the strain of SIV found in chimps. While HIV-2 is closely related to the strain of SIV found in sooty mangabeys monkeys. The crossover of HIV-2 to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way as HIV-1 .
HIV-2 is far more rare, and less infectious than HIV-1, so it infects far fewer people. It is mainly found in a few West African countries, such as Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
To complicate things further, HIV is also classified by four main groups of viral strain , each of which has different genetic make-up. HIV-1 Group M is the strain that has caused the majority of HIV infections in the world today, meaning it is the dominant strain.
Who Was Ryan White
Ryan White was 13 when he was diagnosed with AIDS after a blood transfusion in December 1984. Living in Kokomo, Indiana, doctors gave him six months to live.
When Ryan tried to return to school, he faced AIDS-related discrimination in his Indiana community. Along with his mother Jeanne WhiteGinder, he rallied for his right to attend school. He gainednational attention and became the face of public education about the disease.
Surprising his doctors, Ryan lived five years longer than expected. He died in April 1990, one month before his high school graduation. Congress passed the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act in August 1990.
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Activism By Aids Patients And Families
Also in 1982, Michael Callen and Richard Berkowitz published How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach. In this short work, they described ways gay men could be sexual and affectionate while dramatically reducing the risk of contracting or spreading HIV. Both authors were themselves gay men living with AIDS. This booklet was one of the first times men were advised to use condoms when having sexual relations with other men.
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, there was very little information about the disease. Because AIDS affected stigmatized groups, such as LGBTQ people, people of low socioeconomic status, sex workers and addicts, there was also initially little mass media coverage when the epidemic started. However, with the rise of activist groups composed of people suffering from AIDS, either directly or through a loved one, more public attention was brought to the epidemic.
Impact On Aids Origin Research
Rayford never traveled outside the Midwestern United States and told doctors that he had never received a blood transfusion. If Rayford was indeed infected with HIV, as one group of researchers claims, the mode of acquisition is assumed to have been through sexual contact. Having never left the country, the researchers who claim that Rayford represented an early case of HIV infection presume that AIDS may have been present in North America before Rayford began to show symptoms of it in 1966. Rayford never ventured into cosmopolitan cities such as New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, where the HIV-AIDS epidemic was first observed in the United States. The only notable international connection to St. Louis is that it was TWA‘s main airline hub. Doctors and others who investigated the case in the early 1980s speculated that Rayford may have been sexually abused or a victim of child prostitution.
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Hiv: First Woman In World Believed To Be Cured Of Virus
A US patient is believed to be the third person in the world, and first woman, to be cured of HIV.
The patient was being treated for leukaemia when she received a stem cell transplant from someone with natural resistance to the Aids-causing virus.
The woman has now been free of the virus for 14 months.
But experts say the transplant method used, involving umbilical cord blood, is too risky to be suitable for most people with HIV.
The patient’s case was presented at a medical conference in Denver on Tuesday and is the first time that this method is known to have been used as a functional cure for HIV.
The patient received a transplant of umbilical cord blood as part of her cancer treatment and has since not needed to take the antiretroviral therapy required to treat HIV.
The case was part of a larger US study of people living with HIV who had received the same type of blood transplant to treat cancer and serious diseases.
The transplanted cells that were selected have a specific genetic mutation which means they can’t be infected by the HIV virus.
Scientists believe the immune system of recipients can develop resistance to HIV as a result.
All HIV cure stories are genuinely remarkable and a cause for celebration – they prove that it can be done.
But this approach does not bring us closer to a cure for the 37 million people living with HIV, most of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Remember, anti-retroviral therapy gives people with HIV a near-normal life expectancy.
A Timeline Of Hiv And Aids
The HIV.gov Timeline reflects the history of the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic from the first reported cases in 1981 to the presentwhere advances in HIV prevention, care, and treatment offer hope for a long, healthy life to people who are living with, or at risk for, HIV and AIDS.
View a timeline of the current Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. Please visit HIVHistory.org for a timeline of the global and domestic response to the HIV epidemic.
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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.
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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The Patient Zero Myth
For decades, a French-Canadian airline employee named Gaetan Dugas, has been known as Patient Zero in the 1980s AIDS epidemic.
Dugas, a man who had sex with men , died in 1984. Since then he has been blamed by some as a primary source for the spread of HIV in North America.
Dugas was one of the primary villains in the 1987 book, And the Band Played On, by San Francisco journalist Randy Shilts.
However, the researchers now say Dugas was falsely accused and unfairly blamed.
Gaetan Dugas is one of the most demonized patients in history, and one of a long line of individuals and groups vilified in the belief that they somehow fueled epidemics with malicious intent, said Richard McKay, D.Phil., a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Cambridges Department of History and Philosophy of Science, in a press release.
In fact, McKay says, Dugas actually provided scientists with valuable information before he died.
Dugas told researchers after he contracted HIV that he had 750 sexual partners the previous three years. That wasnt necessarily an unusual number. Researchers said 65 percent of men in a Los Angeles cluster study at the time reported having more than 1,000 sexual partners in their lifetimes.
Much of that sexual connection was with anonymous partners, so many HIV patients couldnt give medical officials any names.
However, McKay says, Dugas provided medical officials with 72 names. That helped scientists track down a wide range of people infected with HIV.