Introduction men that had contracted a highly

 Introduction On June 5th, 1981, 5 cases of an extremely rare lung disease called Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia were diagnosed to 5 healthy gay men in Los Angeles. These cases were picked up by many media outlets throughout The United States; within days, doctors reported hundreds of cases. Later on July 3, The New York Times, reported 41 cases of men that had contracted a highly uncommon infection. By the end of 1981 there were a total of 270 reported cases of a severe immune deficiency among gay men, and 121 of those individuals died. These diagnoses puzzled scientists and doctors for a long time. In 1982 scientists found a name for the “gay plague” that was overtaking The United States. Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) was one of the first names for the disease now known as AIDS.Part 1:What is HIV/AIDS?Human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that is contracted through bodily fluids, such as, blood and breast milk. HIV attacks t-helper cells (white blood cells), when a patient contracts this disease they can live up to 8 years without feeling any of its symptoms. However if left untreated the disease can mutate at least 10 billion times per day, which can help you acquire AIDS. AIDS is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome which is acquired after the HIV virus mutates and takes over all of the healthy cells in your body. AIDS causes your immune system to weaken and become more vulnerable to diseases and infections. When someone has AIDS, they don’t die from the disease itself just from the harmful effects of AIDS. Many of the patients infected with AIDS die from pneumonia, cervical cancer, kaposi sarcoma (a rare cancer) and a lung infection called PCP.HIV now infects more than 36 million people worldwide. About 35 million have died from AIDS, according to the United Nations AIDS agency. Two million are infected every year and more than 1 million died from it in 2017. HIV and AIDS remain a persistent problem for the United States and countries around the world. While great progress has been made in preventing and treating HIV, there is still so much to do. Part 2: Development of AIDS in The United StatesAIDS was first discovered in the United States in the early 1980s. From New York, the virus then spread across the country. HIV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact or by using infected needles, although tainted blood transfusions can spread the virus. NYC was a hub for this “gay disease” killing thousands.Because AIDS first emerged among populations considered marginal by many residents of New York City, including prostitutes, drug users, and homosexual men, it was recognized as just a ‘gay’ disease, even by the Federal government. The use of class A drugs such as heroin throughout poor communities in NYC, and also the promiscuity & sex occuring in the City of New York, donated to this cause. As late as 1986, the Reagan administration continued to discourage panic by saying that AIDS primarily affected gay men, intravenous drug users and prostitutes. For a long time AIDS was not seen as a crisis because at that time about 2% of the population was affected by it. The Reagan Administration, pharmaceutical companies, scientists, health care professionals and religious organizations; were not very expedient in trying to find a way to cure or contain this epidemic that was killing so many young people. “People were getting sick, the government didn’t care, drug companies were not responding appropriately, the media was homophobic and AIDS-phobic,” he said. “We were living in a world where the larger culture seemed to not care about us.”However NYC and San Francisco being the main cities combating AIDS they decided to take matter into their own hands. In San Francisco many of the people getting infected were homosexual men; while in New York a majority of the cases were of women contracting the disease by intravenous drug use. “In 1982, the average number of new AIDS cases reported in New York was 31 cases. However in the first five months of 1987, the average number of new cases reported was 302 cases per month.” Although San Francisco and New York both had large gay communities, the report noted that “San Francisco’s AIDS crisis was manifested primarily among the gay, white middle class population, while New York’s cases increasingly came from intravenous drug users in minority communities. Among all of the debate about what the city should be doing (NYC), New York City Commissioner of Health David Sencer talked about who was getting the disease at the time and how that affected the way New York had handled it. Sencer stated that “because AIDS had been a disease that, up to that point, had affected young individuals, the city did not have the system necessary to take care of them. Instead its system had been geared towards taking care of the elderly, who had nursing homes and home health care ready for them. However, as the problem grew larger, Spencer stated how suddenly we have a group of people with a chronic illness that comes and goes and it’s difficult to develop the right kind of home care for these people. ” This has become confounded by the fact that there’s still unfortunately a fair amount of unsaid discrimination against people with AIDS, whether they be drug abusers or gay men. And it’s difficult to get them into nursing homes. It’s difficult to find housing for these individuals.”  In New York gay community knew that in San Francisco many of the people with HIV/AIDS, were being treated better; because they were provided more resources. These people wished that NYC would adopt some of the new programs and resources San Francisco was implementing. Part 3:Discrimination Against People with HIV/AIDSBecause of the discrimination against people live with HIV, there has been a delayed initiation into trying to find a treatment. As many as 20–40% of Americans who are HIV positive do not begin a treatment within the first six months after diagnosis. The longer an individual waits to seek treatment; the more the disease mutates and takes over one’s healthy t-cells. Once most of your healthy cells are gone the easier it is for one to acquire AIDS, and other infections. Their risk for mortality increases by 20-60%. (depending on one’s own immune system). In a 2011 study published in AIDS Patient Care and STDs, most of the barriers to care described involve stigma and shame.The most common reasons of not seeking medical treatment are “I didn’t want to tell anyone I was HIV-positive”, “I didn’t want to think about being HIV-positive”, or “I was too embarrassed to go”.The presence and perpetuation of HIV stigma prevents many who are able to obtain treatment from feeling comfortable about addressing their health statue.Stigma: a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. When many try to seek help, they are denied because of this stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS ,present in society. In response the people living with HIV/AIDS have developed self-deprecating mindsets and coping mechanisms to deal with the social repercussions, instead of accepting their current status and seeking help.Some forms of discrimination practiced when in 80s were: not being permitted for a job, being prohibited to buy a house, compulsory HIV testing without prior consent or protection of confidentiality; the quarantine of HIV infected individuals and, not receiving property rights when a spouse dies. Part 4:Impact on Women and Children In the early 1990s women made up 60% of the people getting infected with HIV/AIDS in New York City. Almost all of these women came from poor, underdeveloped African American and Hispanic neighborhoods. Just in 1993, 2,000 new cases of women with HIV/AIDS, from these neighborhoods were announced. There was also an increase in the number of babies born with the virus. Today, pregnant mothers that are HIV positive can give birth to their children without having them also contract the disease. “A number of investigators have noted the importance of distinguishing between women with HIV/AIDS, children with HIV/AIDS as a result of perinatal transmission, and the interactive relationship between women and children, one or both of whom may have HIV/AIDS. Women are often viewed only in terms of their ”reproductive function,” and an invidious distinction is drawn between “guilty” women infected by drug use or sex and “innocent” children (Chavkin, 1990).”Part 4B: Caring for Children contracted with HIV/AIDSChildren of  mothers who have died of AIDS are likely to confront stigma in school and throughout their community. Most of these children’s families would not want to take care of them; instead they were just dropped off at a hospital. Harlem Hospital, in Harlem, NY took care of more than 300 children, per year. (Between 1985-1995)Part 5:Ending the Epidemic & Its Social Impact-Conclusion HIV/AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease and cannot be cured, but with proper treatment, the individual can live just as long as without the disease. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). When it was first discovered this disease, took so many lives. However today, because of more advanced technology we have found better ways to treat HIV/AIDS. Hopefully one day, in the near future a cure can be found; so our ancestors can become immune to HIV/AIDS. For now though our goal is to restore, strengthen and protect the dignity, hope and self-respect of seriously ill patients undergoing debilitating treatments”The AIDS epidemic continues its relentless course, with no end in sight. But AIDS is fading from public concern. When the Citizens Commission on AIDS was created three and a half years ago, AIDS was an unpopular cause. It is now rapidly becoming a “post-popular” cause, without ever having truly engaged widespread public support.”HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug: Heaven knows they need it. ~Princess Diana