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May we never find space so vast planets so cold heart and mind so empty that we cannot fill them with love and warmth This quote is from the end of the credits of the film Philadelphia and basically sums up the shocking reality of the problems in our culture AIDS acquired immunodeficiency syndrome -- was first reported in the United States in 1981 and has since become a major worldwide epidemic AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus HIV HIV progressively kills and damages cells in the bodys immune system Because of the constant destruction of cells the bodys ability to fight infections and certain cancers decreases tremendously People diagnosed with AIDS may also contract life-threatening diseases called opportunistic infections which are caused by microbes such as viruses or bacteria These infections would not normally make a healthy person sick but a person with AIDS has such a low immune system that they are more prone to any type of infection More than 700000 cases of AIDS have been reported in the United States since 1981 and as many as 900000 Americans may be infected with HIV The epidemic is growing most rapidly among minority populations and is a leading killer of African American males According to the USCenters for Disease Control and Prevention CDC AIDS affects six times more African Americans than whites and three times more Hispanics than whites yet is more prevalent in white homosexual males over white heterosexual males wwwniaidnihgovdefaulthtm In 1993 the year this movie was made was an appropriate time because it was about the same time people begin to learn about the AIDS virus Because of the recent spread of HIV and the stereotypes made up about the people with the virus this movie was made not only to educate people but also to show the reality of what is happening in our society Tom Hanks roll as Andrew
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