It was in the 1980s when the world first became face to face with a new epidemic, that epidemic would later be known as the AIDS Crisis. The world bore witness to the threat of HIV/AIDS, for the HIV and AIDS outbreak sparked a national health crisis, it was a new disease that not many medical experts had much information on, no one knew what caused it, so it brought with it outpouring emotions from the public. People were enraged, scared, confused, and contumacious. Alongside these emotions, discrimination towards the LGBT community surged, for when HIV was first introduced to the world in 1982 it was introduced as a gay disease, the syndrome was originally called GRID1, for gay-related immunodeficiency, the terms “gay cancer” and “gay plague” were also used. In 1983, the virus that caused AIDS was discovered and at first was named by an international scientific committee as HTLV-III/LAV2, for human T-cell lymphotropic virus-type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus, the virus was later renamed as HIV3, for Human Immunodeficiency Virus by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.
The HIV virus causes damage to the cell in one’s immune system and weakens the immune system’s ability to fight everyday diseases and infections. AIDS (which stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the final stage of HIV, and in that stage, the body is no longer able to fight off new infections and diseases. AIDS cannot be transmitted from one person to another, however, the HIV virus can. HIV is usually found in the body fluids of an infected person and can be caught from dirty needles, from sex, contact with blood passed down through birth, and breast milk. A person on HIV treatment (anti-retrovirals or ARVs) can live a normal life and it is now known that ARVs give the person a 96% less chance of passing on the disease.1 http://www.nytimes.com/1982/05/11/science/new-homosexual-disorder-worries-health-officials.html?pagewanted=all2 http://www.theaidsinstitute.org/node/259 3 http://www.theaidsinstitute.org/node/259