HIV/AIDS

Introduction

The June 5, 1981, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) weekly report of disease trends noted an unusual pattern of opportunistic infections in five gay men. The report began …

In the period October 1980-May 1981, 5 young men, all active homosexuals, were treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia [a fungal infection of the lungs] at 3 different hospitals in Los Angeles, California. Two of the patients died. All 5 patients had laboratory-confirmed previous or current cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and candida mucosal [yeast] infection.

The report ended with a poignant editorial note:

Pneumocystis pneumonia in the United States is almost exclusively limited to severely immunosuppressed patients. The occurrence of pneumocystosis in these 5 previously healthy individuals without a clinically apparent underlying immunodeficiency is unusual. The fact that these patients were all homosexuals suggests an association between some aspect of a homosexual lifestyle or disease acquired through sexual contact and Pneumocystis pneumonia in the population ….

All the above observations suggest the possibility of a cellular-immune dysfunction related to a common exposure that predisposes individuals to opportunistic infections such as pneumocystosis and candidiasis …

The age of AIDS had begun!

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dangerous Diseases and Epidemics © 2002 by David Perlin, Ph.D., and Ann Cohen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

highlights

Bug Off! 6 Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Which bug bites are dangerous? Learn about 6 diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes, the signs and symptoms, and treatment options if someone in your family gets infected.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Top 10 Backyard Party Games for All Ages
Looking for some fun outdoor games for your Fourth of July party or barbecue? Check out these awesome group games, from sack races to cornhole, to make your backyard a kid-friendly party spot!

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks