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venereal diseases Aids

Being one of the most fatal viruses in the nation, AIDS (Acquired
Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is now a serious public health concern in most major
U.S. cities and in countries worldwide. Since 1986 there have been impressive
advances in understanding of the AIDS virus, its mechanisms, and its routes of
transmission. Even though researchers have put in countless hours, and millions of
dollars it has not led to a drug that can cure infection with the virus or to a vaccine
that can prevent it. With AIDS being the leading cause of death among adults,
individuals are now taking more precautions with sexual intercourse, and medical
facilities are screening blood more thoroughly. Even though HIV ( Human
Immunodeficieny Virus) can be transmitted through sharing of non sterilize needles
and syringes, sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, and through most bodily fluids,
it is not transmitted through casual contact or by biting or blood sucking insects.
Development of the AIDS Epidemic
The first case of AIDS were reported in 1982, epidemiologists at the Center of
Disease Control immediately began tracking the disease back wards in time as well
as forward. They determined that the first cases of AIDS in the United States
probably occurred in 1977.
By early 1982, 15 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 foreign countries
had reports of AIDS cases, however the total remained low: 158 men and 1 woman.
Surprising enough more then 90 percent of the men were homosexual or bisexual.
Knowing this more then 70 percent of AIDS victims are homosexual or bisexual
men, and less then 5 percent are heterosexual adults. Amazing enough by
December of 1983 there were 3,000 cases of AIDS that had been reported in adults
from 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and the disease had been
recognized in 20 other countries.
Recognizing the Extent of Infection
The health of the general homosexual populations in the area with the
largest number of cases of the new disease was getting looked at a lot closer by
researchers. For many years physicians knew that homosexual men who reported
large numbers of sexual partners had more episodes of venereal diseases and were
at higher risk of hepatitis B virus infection than the rest of the population, but
conicidentally with the appearance of AIDS,. other debilitating problems began to do
appear more frequently. The most common was swollen glands, often accompanied
by extreme fatigue, weight loss, fever, chronic diarrhea, decreased levels of blood
platelets and fungal infections in the mouth. This condition was labeled ARC (AIDS
Related complex).
The isolation of HIV in 1983 and 1984 and the development of techniques to
produce large quantities of the virus [paved the way for a battery of tests to
determined the relationship between AIDS and ARC and the magnitude of the
carrier problem. Using several different laboratory tests, scientists looked for
antibodies against the HIV in the blood of AIDS and ARC patients. They found that
almost 100 percent of those with AIDS or ARC had the antibodies-they were
seriopostive. In contrast less then one percent of persons with no known risk factors
were seropositive.
Definition of AIDS
AIDS is defined as a disease, at least moderately predictive of defects in cell-
meditated immunity, occurring in a person with no known cause for diminished
resistance to that disease. Such diseases include Kaposi's Sarcoma, Pneumocystis
carnii pneumonia, and serious other opportunistic infections. After the discovery of
HIV and the development of HIV-antibody test, the case definition of AIDS was
updated to reflect the role of the virus in causing AIDS, but the scope of the
definition remained almost the same.
Transmission
HIV is primarily a sexually transmitted disease, it is transmitted by both
homosexual and bisexual and heterosexual activity. The first recognized case was
among homosexual and bisexual men. Many numbers of studies have shown that
men who have sexual partners and those who practice receptive anal intercourse
are more likely to be infected with HIV than other homosexual men. Researchers
found a strong connection between HIV infection and rectal trauma, enemas before
sex, and physical signs of disruption of the tissue lining the rectum.
Homosexual women tend to have a very low incidence of venereal disease in
general, an AIDS is no exception. Female-to-female transmission is highly
uncommon, however it has been reported in one case and suggested in another. In
the reported case, traumatic sex practices apparently resulted in transmission of HIV
from a woman who had acquired the virus through IV drug abuse to her non-drug-
using sexual partner.
1983 was when the first heterosexual (Male to female; ... more

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Syphilis In Measure For Measure


Syphilis in Renaissance Europe and in
Shakespeares Measure for Measure


Bibliography

to venereal disease appear as early in the second scene of Shakespeares Measure for Measure. Syphilis, the primary and most horrible of venereal diseases, ran rampant in Shakespeares time. By giving a brief history of the disease in Renaissance Europe one can gain a better understanding of the disease which will provide a greater insight into the play which would have gone unknown. This brief history will include, the severity of the disease in fifteenth and sixteenth century Europe, believed origins and symptoms of the time period, and methods of curing or combating the disease.. By reading and analyzing passages referring to syphilis in Measure for Measure it is clear that Shakespeare himself believed in most of the truths established by the poet and physician Fracastor. Fracastor was the primary source and influence regarding studies of syphilis in Renaissance Europe.
The disease we now commonly identify as syphilis is believed to have arrived in Europe for the first time in the late fifteenth century. Though there are few statistics from that period available to prove such an argument, there is plenty of evidence that supports that the disease suddenly emerged in great abundance during this time period. It is also believed that syphilis was much more severe then, than it has ever been since. Zinsser writes in his book, Rats, Lice, and History that: There is little doubt that when syphilis first appeared in epidemic form, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, it was a far more virulent, acute, and factual condition than it is now (Rosebury 23).
The first time syphilis, called evil pocks at the time, was mentioned in print occurred on August 7, 1495 in the Edict of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. In this document syphilis was believed to be a punishment sent from God for blasphemy and was described as something which had never occurred before nor been heard of within the memory of man (Rosebury 24). Between the years 1495 and 1498 there were a total of nine similar documents that emerged through out Western Europe.
In 1530 Fracastor, a poet and physician, published the poem, Syphilis sive Morbus Gallicus, translated Syphilis or the French Disease. The main character was a shepherd in Hispaniola named Syphilis. Syphilis caught the disease for disrespecting the Gods. At the time Fracastor believed in the previous documents, but would provide his own original ideas concerning how the disease reached Europe. He also alluded to possible treatments, that Shakespeare will later use in his plays. Fracastor used the name syphilis for both the main character and the disease he contracted. However, the name of the disease continued to be known as the French disease. It was not until the 1850s, more than three centuries after Fracastors poem, that the disease was called syphilis.
Fracastors poem grew widely popular in Western Europe, and was believed to be mostly factual at the time. It might seem odd that a fictional poem with fictional characters would be widely regarded as truth, but under the extreme circumstances of the sixteenth century syphilis epidemic it makes perfect sense. Syphilis had caused terror in the hearts of the people in the sixteenth century due to its rapid spread. Physicians seemed helpless to cure it. No one could do anything, but believe in what Fracastor wrote. In the poem Fracastor had answers concerning its origin, symptoms, and cure for this new disease.
He went along with the common belief that it appeared in the French army before Naples around the year 1495. From France, and justly took from France his name, (Rosebury 31). This quote provides the evidence concerning syphilis former name, The French Disease. He also discussed how he believed that it originated in America, and was brought back with Columbus and his men. This was the popular view of the day, and many researchers still find truth in it. What Fracastor truly believed, at the time, was that the positions of the planets influenced the outbreak of the disease. He believed that they lined up in such a way that provided great conditions for the emergence of the disease. In the poem Fracastor also ... more

venereal diseases

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