Symptoms And Treatment Of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

1663 Words May 9th, 2016 7 Pages
“I wrote down the names of 106 friends on my ‘goodbye’ list—and then I just stopped counting, but that did not stop the dying,” James Vellequette, who has been living with HIV for twenty-six years, admitted during the interview about his life in the time of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. “I live with a quiet ticking noise in the back of my head thinking that I am always running out of time” (qtd. in Anderson-Minshall). As it is defined in Aiken’s book Dying, Death, and Bereavement, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is a virus which attacks the infected person’s immune system, making it incredibly difficult or even impossible to fight off even the most basic diseases. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, otherwise known as AIDS, may result from contracting HIV. While HIV will not result in death unless it develops into AIDS, the latter is fatal. Though there is not a cure for either of these illnesses, treatments are now available which can make the lives of those who are HIV or AIDS positive healthier and longer. Just thirty years ago, however, those treatments did not exist, and the issue of AIDS was largely ignored. Young, healthy men were falling sick and dying, stricken by diseases that should have been benign or found only in older people. It became a nationwide epidemic, and the country turned its back on the victims simply because many were gay; homosexual and bisexual men, who make up roughly two to four percent of the current population, “account for more than 50%…

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