Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Essay Research Paper Acquired

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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Essay, Research Paper Acquired Immunodeficiency SyndromeAcquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome – AIDS – has stimulated more interest in history than any other disease of modern times. Since the epidemic was first identified in 1981, scientists, physicians, public officials, and journalists have frequently raised historical questions. Most often these questions have been about contemporary social and epidemiological history: Why did the disease emerge when and where it did? How has it spread among members of particular groups? What does the history of medical science and public health in this century suggest about our ability to control the epidemic and eventually to cure the disease?Current discussions concerning the AIDS epidemic reference

about its possible African origin and hypotheses regarding the introduction and spread of the disease in the United States. It seems plausible to postulate that a set of biological factors, perhaps a viral mutation, had to find a favorable ecological niche – made possible by new attitude toward homosexuality and widespread drug – to trigger the appearance of AIDS. At the same time, our social reaction to the epidemic, presently undergoing painful reexamination, needs to be considered carefully. Why do sufferers of disease have to be stigmatized? What is all thatmoral judging for? Voices urge that AIDS cease to be a civil rights problem and become instead a public health issue. The implicit message to the authorities is quite simple: cease quibbling about civil liberties and

start protecting public health even if it means returning to previous measures of screening, reporting, and isolation deemed successful in control other diseases. How Can History Help Us Understand AIDS?To study past and present disease patter, including AIDS, we need to employ an ecological model that allows us to discover and integrate the multiple factors involved in the arrival of epidemic diseases. The dynamic relationship between the biosocial environment and human – an “ecology” of disease – helps explain the appearance, spread, and departure of specific health problems. PlagueThe first’s case study is the final outbreak of bubonic plague among the inhabitants of Rome, which occurred in 1656. For a variety of political reasons – not least the vanity of the

reigning pope – this episode was well-documented. The epidemic was fought with measures developed during the Renaissance, refined over nearly two centuries of organized responses to plague in the cities of northern Italy. These measures were widely adopted elsewhere in Europe and in theensuing centuries became the prototype for public health regulations regarding other disease, notable yellow fever and cholera. Although contemporary observers had detected a gradual decrease in the frequency and intensity of plague epidemics in Eastern Europe, authorities of the Papal States, which included Rome, were nevertheless carefully monitoring the health situation in the Mediterranean. This watch focused especially on the movement of potentially infected ships and their supposed lethal

cargoes. One may ask why the plague was retreating in the face of growing urbanization and increases commercial contacts among nations. Was public health policy on epidemics gradually bearing fruit? Probably not. The quarantine system simple stemmed the flow of goods, humans, and ships, only indirectly hampering the movement of the real culprits, namely, infected rodents and the fleas. In fact, the regular recurrence of plague epidemics after 1349 owed more to contacts between urban rodents and their increasingly plague ridden cousins in the countryside than to the movement of ships with human victims, plague remained foremost a disease of rodents. Stalking the VirusFrom the very beginning, suspicion fell on cytomegalovirus (CMV). Early in the AIDS epidemic, some sing s of a