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The first case of AIDS was identified in New York in 1979 The cause of the disease a retro virus now called Human Immunodeficiency Virus was identified in 1983-84 by scientists working at the National Cancer Institute in the United States and the Pasteur Institute in France These workers also developed tests for AIDS enabling researchers to follow the transmission of the virus and to study the origin and mechanism of the disease Close relatives of the AIDS virus infect some African monkeys This fact and the high incidence of infection of people in central Africa has led to the opinion that the AIDS virus originated there In 1990 the World Health Organization announced that 203599 cases of AIDS were reported worldwide by the end of 1989 and estimated the actual number of cases to be 600000 AIDS is part of everyday life for todays young people and they have many questions about this important and often confusing subject AIDS stands for a condition called Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome This is a very long name but it is easy to understand if you take the different parts one at a time The word acquired tells us that AIDS is something that a person gets or acquires from another person Although AIDS can be passed from an infected woman to her unborn child it is not something that you can inherit from your parents like your height or the color of your eyes and hair It is also not an illness that can occur with no apparent outward cause as cancer is or that is a result of the bodys aging process like Alzheimers disease Immunodeficiency is another long word but it too is easy if you take it apart Immuno refers to the bodys immune system The immune system is the part of the body that fights off infections When your body is invaded by organism that
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