from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A severe immunological disorder caused by the retrovirus HIV, resulting in a defect in cell-mediated immune response that is manifested by increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and to certain rare cancers, especially Kaposi's sarcoma. It is transmitted primarily by exposure to contaminated body fluids, especially blood and semen.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- acquired immune deficiency syndrome
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a serious (often fatal) disease of the immune system transmitted through blood products especially by sexual contact or contaminated needles
It started in the 1980s when the disease was termed GRID Gay Related Immune Deficiency; President Reagan refused to even say the word AIDS for four years and the epidemic decimated entire communities in this country all the while.
The medical community, meanwhile, tends to refer to the sickness on a case-by-case basis, by the names of diseases associated with it, before correctly identifying the disease and using the term AIDS acquired immunodeficiency syndrome by 1982.
I kid you not—the first time I heard the word AIDS was when someone was telling me that only green monkeys and Africans could catch it.
Young antiapartheid activists claimed the acronym AIDS really meant “Afrikaner Invention to Deprive Us of Sex.”
And Ronald Reagan couldn't bring himself to say the word AIDS until 1987, after tens of thousands of gay men had already died.
Speaking a quarter of a century after the term AIDS was coined, Dr De Cock said large-scale heterosexual spread was unlikely to occur anywhere outside sub-Saharan Africa, where more than
Keith Henry, a medical professor at the University of Minnesota and a physician specializing in HIV care, said the term AIDS "still has great value epidemiologically" in tracking how well
It took Ronald Reagan seven years to even say the word "AIDS."
Those whose lives have been touched by the AIDS crisis will well remember how the United States Government tried to avoid even mentioning the word "AIDS" during the Reagan administration even as close personal friends of the President and his wife --like Roy Cohn -- succumbed to the disease.
Before the premature deaths of Zontal and Partz in 1994, the trio had ensconced themselves with international cult status chiefly for what became the premiere icon of the Age of AIDS -- their mimicry of Robert Indiana's 1960's LOVE paintings unto which they supplanted, in Indiana style and a variety of colors, the word AIDS.
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