AIDS History

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AIDS first developed in non-human primates in Africa. The first known human cases date to the 1950s, but were not recognized as AIDS at the time. By the 1970s, AIDS cases started to appear, mostly in the homosexual male population and among intravenus drug users in the United States. In the early 1980s, as the epidemic grew, scientists began to understand the disease better and the Gay Rights movement started protests to get action to deal with the disease. Further research discovered that AIDS was more widespread and was predominantly a heterosexual disease in Asia and Africa.

AIDS is a priority now for world health agencies because it is deadly, because it is spreading very rapidly, and because there is no cure. In parts of Africa whole generations of people in some countries where more than half of adults have the disease, may be wiped out.

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