The Beginnings of Aids

Back when the disease was being first mentioned along the lines of homosexuality and indecent unnatural acts, the public confusion and doubt about HIV transmission spread grew rapidly and there was a time that people did not even want to have any contact whatsoever with those who were infected. It turned out that the public confusion eventually led to the public learning more about the disease.

In a study that originated from New York during the mid-1980s, for example, nursing homes never accepted AIDS patients and there were funeral homes who demanded "as much as an extra $1,000 to handle the bodies of AIDS victims" – even though there was an effort to educate city residents that "AIDS is not highly contagious and it is not spread through everyday casual or nonsexual household contact". Because of the confusion surrounding HIV/AIDS and the resulting traditional myths, media reports from that time documented — and sometimes contributed to — misperceptions about the disease, especially in the areas listed below.

Because of the popularity in the documented cases of homosexuals, there was a focus on homosexuals as a group which had the highest risk of any other group.  it took so many arduous years for the public as well as the media to widely recognize that HIV could be spread heterosexually-that is between those people who are straight.

Back in the year of 1984, The New York Times was able to chronicle and report on a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine involving a hemophiliac who was discovered to have given the disease on to his wife. This case was seen as one that was very unique. Becasuse of this, the NY Times reported that "most of the previous cases of AIDS which were transmitted heterosexually involved female sexual partners of male intravenous drug abusers and bisexuals"

There were reports in 1986 which the Times noted that AIDS "is still extremely rare among heterosexuals who are not drug abusers, and scientists disagree on how widespread a threat it poses to the heterosexual population" (Nordheim, New York Times, 3/22/86).

In March 1987, the San Francisco Chronicle noted that "AIDS has not become widespread among heterosexuals as rapidly as doctors and scientists had feared" just a few years before, adding that "many experts believe that the disease’s recent publicity may have raised the popularity and the unnecessary fear of the epidemic.

These were the very momentous announcements that plagued the world and the American public before when they thought that they could never contract AIDs as long as they did not participate in any forbidden and taboo acts. Most of the people back then always attributed AIDS as punishment for those who disrespected the design for man and woman as people engaged willfully and wantonly with each other.

Looking back to the past of the disease and how the public’s perception changed, it is one of the most pivotal diseases to strike the human population. Now, it has gained so much more respect and people who have the disease are treated much more humanely than before.

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