Lead: In the early 1980s, a mysterious infectious disease began to emerge among gay men and intravenous drug users. It soon acquired a name and found itself the subject of motion pictures.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS crept into the national consciousness with slow but terrifying resolve. This blood-borne virus, HIV, infects and renders impotent those human cells which fight off other infectious diseases such as the skin cancer Karposi’s sarcoma and rare forms of pneumonia. The disease destroys the elaborate defense system the human body has developed over thousands of years and soon tens of thousands of people, beginning with gay men and intravenous drug users, had become infected through blood transfer or sexually transmitted fluids and had little hope for survival. Before a regimen of medications emerged in the 1990s which staved off the disease and opportunistic infections, AIDS had claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. As of the second decade of the 21st century, there is still no cure or vaccine to prevent HIV infection though there are prophylactic medications which if taken help prevent infection in endangered populations. World-wide, AIDS is no longer a gay disease as the vast majority of those infected or imperiled are heterosexual men and women.

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