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AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Disease It is caused by a virus The disease originated somewhere in Africa about 30 years ago There it first appeared as a mysterious ailment afflicting primarily heterosexuals of both sexes It probably was spread primarily by 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 people 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 in the gay male population of this country immensely more quickly than in other populations It became to be thought of as a gay disease Because the disease is spread primarily by exposure of ones blood to infected blood or semen IV drug addicts who shared needles were soon identified as an affected group As the AIDS epidemic began to affect increasingly large fractions of those two populations gay males and IV drug abusers many of the rest of this society looked on smugly for both populations tended to be despised by the mainstream of society here But AIDS is also spread by heterosexual sex In addition it is spread by blood transfusions Newborn babies can acquire the disease from infected mothers during pregnancy Gradually more and more mainstream people got the disease Most
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