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AIDS IN AFRICA - Acquired immune deficiency syndrome most...

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Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, most commonly known as AIDS is a disease that weakens the immune system by the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV. The people affected by this disease lose the ability to fight infections, which in turn causes them to become ill with diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and tumors (3). The first case of this disease was in Africa in the 1970s, this disease is now a wide spread public health problem in central Africa and rapidly spreading throughout western and southern Africa (1). The medical community grouped together heterogeneous diseases such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, lymphoma, and dementia as AIDS because they did not know what else could have caused this virus (5). When the Aids virus first came about in 1970 there were many different speculations as to what the causes were. It was first said to have been caused by chimpanzees (3). The chimps carried a similar virus and by eating or being bitten by these chimps people were becoming infected with the disease. There is also a select amount of people who believe that the AIDS virus was spread due to a vaccine that was made by the infected chimpanzee tissue (3). Another theory as to what causes the AIDS virus is that the disease was caused by the LAV/HTLV III virus. This virus breaks down the body’s defense system (1). It was also said that AIDS is the contributing agent but its presence in the body is only important if the person already has a week immune system due to malnutrition, poor sanitation, frequent infection and the overuse of antibiotics (1).
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