In 1981, a new fatal, infectious disease was diagnosed--AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). It began in major cities, such as New York, Las Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco. AIDS was soon recognized as a worldwide health emergency, and as a fatal disease with no known cure, that quickly became an epidemic. People, mostly homosexual men and intravenous drug users, were dying from very rare lung infections or from a cancer known as Kaposi's sarcoma, which is a rare cancer that shows up in the skin, or in the lining of the mouth, nose, or eye. It can also spread to the lungs, liver, stomach and intestines, and to the lymph nodes. (www.aidscience.com) They have not seen people getting these diseases in numerous years. Soon, it also affected hemophiliacs, blood recipients, prostitutes and their customers, and babies born from AIDS-infected women. .
When high-profile victims began to contract the virus, such as porn star John Holmes who died in Sepulveda, California in March of 1988, and Magic Johnson who stated, "After I found out I was infected with AIDS, my philosophy was to live every day as if it was going to be my last." (www.nationallampoon.com); the feeling spread quickly that anyone, not just particular groups of people, could be at risk. In fact, when we take a look at the statistics and facts of the AIDS virus we can see that since 1981, in the United States alone, 343,888 white people and 313,180 African American people have tested positive for the AIDS virus. (www.cytodyn.com) .
With new research, scientists think that the disease was first contracted through a certain type of green monkey in Africa, and then somehow mutated into a virus that a human could get. There are no known cases of AIDS transmission by insects such as mosquitoes or by domestic animals. AIDS is a complicated illness that may involve several phases and is caused by being passed from person to person.