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            AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a specific group of diseases or conditions that result in the suppression of the immune system related to infection with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) (Murill 1). The name refers to the fact that disorder mainly affects the patient's disease fighting immune system. AIDS breaks down the immune system and allows people to become more susceptible to pneumonia, fungus infections, and other common ailments. AIDS is the one of the most critical health problems facing the United States today (Prentice Hall Health A-1).
             In 1978 the first case of what we now know as AIDS was discovered in New York City. By 1982 the total number of AIDS cases had jumped to 216. However researchers still did not know the cause of AIDS. But in 1984 the discovery of deficient helper T cells in most victims lead researchers to believe that AIDS is caused by a virus that attacks the T cells. And later proved this theory. Researchers still do not know when exactly this virus came into existence. However they have found that people in equatorial Africa .
             began to get AIDS in the early 1970s but called it "slim disease." .
             Researchers did find a similar virus but not exactly identical one in the .
             African green monkey and transmitted into humans through monkey bites.
             The progression from the HIV virus to AIDS could take six or .
             ten years or more. The progression can be tracked by using surrogate .
             markers to count the declining number of CD4 T-cells, the weaker the person .
             the more advanced the disease is. Clinical points can also track it. .
             These points are the illnesses that are associated with more advanced .
             disease. It also became apparent that the amount of HIV in the infected .
             persons blood could predict the progression of AIDS. Although less .
             precise, another way to track this virus is through the person's immune .
             response to the virus or their ability to produce antibodies.

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