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AIDS is a life and death issue To have the AIDS disease is at present a sentence of slow but inevitable death Ive already lost one friend to AIDS I may soon lose others My own sexual behavior and that of many of my friends has been profoundly altered by it In my part of the country one man in 10 may already be carrying the AIDS virus While the figures may currently be less in much of the rest of the country this is changing rapidly There currently is neither a cure nor even an effective treatment and no vaccine either But there are things that have been PROVEN immensely effective in slowing the spread of this hideously lethal disease In this essay I hope to present this information History and Overview AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Defficiency Disease It is caused by a virus The disease originated somewhere in Africa about 20 years ago There it first appeared as a mysterious ailment afflicting primarily heterosexuals of both sexes It probably was spread especially fast by primarily female prostitutes there AIDS has already become a crisis of STAGGERING proportions in parts of Africa In Zaire it is estimated that over twenty percent of the adults currently carry the virus That figure is increasing And what occurred there will if no cure is found most likely occur here among heterosexual folks AIDS was first seen as a disease of gay males in this country This was a result of the fact that gay males in this culture in the days before AIDS had an average of 200 to 400 new sexual contacts per year This figure was much higher than common practice among heterosexual straight men or women In addition it turned out that rectal sex was a particularly effective way to transmit the disease and rectal sex is a common practice among gay males For these reasons the disease spread
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