The Discovery of AIDS/HIV

By: Taylor Anderson, Abigayle Flanagan, Sarah Waldner, Abigail Warren.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a infectious disease that is transferred by blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. It is a condition in humans that progresses failure of the immune system, that does allow life threatening infections and cancers to thrive.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The illness alters the immune system, making it more weak and vulnerable to other diseases and illnesses. This then makes the disease itself worse.

What was the innovation?

Luk Montagnier, one of the doctors who had discovered the disease HIV, had began his career when a clinician, Willy Rozenbaum had asked him for assistance in identifying a cause of an mysterious new syndrome. AIDS. It had been identified as GIRF - Gay-related immune deficiency, since the rise in homosexual patients had been off the charts. Montagnier had examined a number of samples taken from AIDS patients, and found the virus that would later be known as HIV. Then Robert Gallo had come into the picture when he and his group had found evidence that was similar to Montagnier's findings.

How has the discovery changed the practice of medicine?

This disease, also known as the 'modern plague' has changed the lives of everyone thats affected by it. The advent of Aids, would forever alter the way we talk and think about sexuality or sex. In the 30 years since the discovery of Aids, 31 medicines have been subjectively approved to treat HIV infections. Since the invention of anti-retroviral treatments (ART) in 1995, the Aids rate of deaths had gone down by 83%. If you were diagnosed with Aids today, there is a wide range of treatment options for you, keeping you symptom-free for years.

What was the importance of the discovery?

Aids was made known as a formally recognized as a new disease on June 5, 1981. The discovery of Aids was a very important part of history. It had challenged scientists to come up with cures for the deadly disease, and it also makes people think more about their actions in terms of movements with other people. The discovery was important because it had helped develop the field of medicine.


Abigail Warren: Powerpoint, Abigayle Flanagan

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