Thursday, 14 April 2011

HIV: Past and Present

When HIV was discovered in the 1980's, it became hugely feared, being labeled as a vicious killer and seen by the public as an 'end of the world' virus. With advertisements such as the one below it is easy to see how it gained this reputation - the atmosphere was apocalyptic. People treated HIV in the same way in which modern society has treated bird flu and swine flu, over reacting to something new that only affects a minority of the population.

But HIV is no deadlier now than it was 30 years ago and as such the apocalyptic atmosphere has died down. Due to advances in medical science HIV can be treated to an extent that an infected persons life is prolonged for several more years. Yes it still leads to death, but the fact that it is considered to be under more control and measures to ensure its prevention are being used, doesn't stir fear in the public as it used to.

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