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· In New York several young gay men developed
Kaposi's sarcoma ­ a rare cancer usually affecting
old people
· In California and New York a number of young gay
men developed an unusual lung infection, PCP or
pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
What was happening?…read more

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A new disease
Doctors quickly realised they were facing a new
disease: but what was causing it?
Because the first cases of HIV/AIDS were all
found in gay men doctors assumed it might be
something to do with the gay lifestyle. Was it ...
·Immune system overload?
·Cytomegalavirus ­ a virus
found in more than half the
population ?
·Poppers ­ drugs heavily used
in the gay community?…read more

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The new disease became know as AIDS
Acquired ­ people acquire the disease, they don't
inherit it
Immune ­ it affects the immune system of the body
Deficiency ­ the immune system stops working
Syndrome ­ it involves a range of illnesses and
symptoms, not a single disease…read more

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The 1980s
The picture of AIDS as an American
`gay' disease began to change:
· People with haemophilia showed
symptoms of the new disease
· People who injected drugs began to
develop symptoms of AIDS
· People in many European countries
began to develop the symptoms of
· Doctors in Uganda noticed a new · People who had
wasting disease locally known as `slim' received blood,
· Heterosexual women were found to including a 20 month old
have AIDS baby, began to show
symptoms and die of
AIDS related infections…read more

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The virus behind the disease
Once AIDS was recognised as an infectious
disease, the hunt for the pathogen could
In 1984, French and American
scientists independently isolated
the virus (a retrovirus) which has become
known as HIV ­
Human Immunodeficiency Virus…read more

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