Previously Healthy, Young

Monday 10 September 2012.
 

“Previously Healthy, Young”

The first five patients were reported in 1981, beginning what has become known as the HIV/AIDS crisis, soon to be entering its 3rd decade, the five homosexual men was characterized as “previously healthy young men”. The doctors writing the first report themselves were very familiar with the medical conditions and needs of many men who were living an openly homosexual lifestyle. Dr. Joel Weisman himself was a gay.

“The fact that Joel Weisman himself was gay no doubt contributed to the popularity that his clinic had found with that particular clientele. “Everyone knew that I didn’t stand in judgment, that with me there was no taboos or psychological barriers, that I was there to treat them and only treat them.”” (Lapierre, Beyond Love, p. 39)

“Over the years the proportion of gays among Dr. Joel Weisman’s patients had increased. The doctor saw in this increase not so much a tribute to his ability and discretion as the consequence of an increase in sexually transmitted diseases with a predilection for attacking this particular risk group. “From the years 1977, 1978, I began to get more and more young men with high fevers, nocturnal sweating, diarrhea, all kinds of parasitic diseases and particularly with swollen lymph nodes the size of pigeons’ eggs, in their necks, in their armpits, their groin, everywhere. The evidence suggested that these inflammations of the glands were expressions of immunodeficiency disorders. Each time, I feared the worst: cancer, leukemia. Fortunately all my biopsies came back to me ’benign.’ True, some of the illnesses identified by analysis were not trivial. There was mononucleosis, hepatitis, lots of cases of herpes, quite a bit of venereal disease. Thank God, the viruses responsible did not kill, at least not yet. Generally, most of the symptoms disappeared after appropriate treatment. Only a few patients kept their abnormally swollen lymph nodes. They resigned yes to living with them.” The arrival, one morning in October 1980, of a hairdresser from Hollywood in Joel Weisman’s consulting room was rudely to this relative optimism. This young gay man of twenty-five, with no known medical history, was suffering from a chronic infection of the skin, the mucous membranes, and the nails. “His epidermis is nothing but one big open wound,” Joel Weisman noted on his card. Disconcerted by the extent of the infection, he picked up his telephone and dialed the number of the only person who in his view was capable of curing this patient.” (Lapierre, Beyond Love, p.39-40)

“But only in part: For a number of scientists and physicians first involved in AIDS were either gay or familiar with the gay community. Many CDC staff members had worked closely with the gay community in the course of the research on hepatitis B and had few illusions about sexual practices and sexual diversity, and were aware that not all gay men were active with multiple partners.” (Treichler, AIDS, Gender, and Biomedical Discourse, p. 200 in AIDS The Burdens of History editors Elizabeth Fee and Daniel M. Fox)

A very important question needs an answer. Why were these five homosexual men in the initial report characterized as “previously healthy young men”? Their ages were reported as being from 29 to 36 years of age, with an average age of 30 years and 4 months. Thus could an argument be made that they were not “young men”? But more importantly why were they characterized as “previously healthy? Known by the doctors writing the initial report, the medical conditions and needs of many men who lived an open homosexual lifestyle would lead one to be cautious in describing homosexual men as healthy. The medical charts and histories of these five homosexual men show that their health status was comparable to the men in the general homosexual population. And yet these five homosexual men were characterized in the initial report as “previously healthy young men”.

“What does seem incongruous then and now, however, is that these five homosexual men with pneumonia were characterized as “previously healthy” or “generally healthy young men” in the same breath. Given the state of knowledge and medical scholarship on gay men in the late 1970s and alleged hyperendemic levels of STDs, meningitis, hepatitis B, cytomegalovirus (CMV), gay bowl disease, and so on within their communities-how is it that these men with pneumonia were and continue to be, represented as “previously healthy”? (Cochrane, When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p. 23)

“Turning to the original MMWR report of June 5, 1981, however, reveals that all five patients were characterized as “previously healthy” despite their disparate clinical histories: one patient was an intravenous drug abuser, one had been treated with radiation for Hodgkin’s disease, four had evidence of past hepatitis B infection, and all five “reported using inhalant drugs.”” (Cochrane, When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p. 24)

“The five cases presented by Michael Gottlieb in his forty-six line communication did not, in fact supply any very startling information: they concerned five young gay men who did not know each other, who all had a substantial history of sexually transmitted diseases, who all inhaled toxic substances, and who were suffering from this infamous parasitic pneumonia that only attacked systems deprived of immune defenses. Yet Michael Gottlieb did stipulate at the time that the infection was very serious. Two patients had already died of it.” (Lapierre, Beyond Love, p.71)

“One important feature of the original classification of AIDS was its distinction as occurring in "previously healthy" homosexuals. While recent reports have cast doubt on the presumption that these original AIDS patients were, in fact, previously healthy at all (Cochrane 2004), this distinction raises the question of why hemophiliacs were ever considered AIDS patients. It is well known that the immune system does not operate normally in hemophiliacs, and that clotting factor (Factor II) therapy is itself immunosuppressive (Papadopulos- Eleopulos et 1995).” (Culshaw, Science Sold Out Does HIV Really Cause AIDS?, p. 25)

“The first report cases of the new illness were five young male homosexuals who received treatment in Los Angeles for a rare infection, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, and an even rarer form of a malignancy in the United States Kaposi’s sarcoma. The first indications were that all five cases were connected by one common factor: a defective immune system.” (Vass, AIDS A Plague in Us, A Social Perspective – The Condition and its Social Consequences, p. 23)

“The first identified case of AIDS in the United States occurred in the spring of 1981, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that five young, previously healthy, homosexually active men in Los Angeles exhibited a rare upper respiratory infection, Pnuemocystis carinii (Fauci, et al., 1984, Gallo, 1987).” (Kalichman, Understanding AIDS Second Edition Advances in Research and Treatment, p.10)

“On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the appearance of pneumonia in five young men during the previous six months. Five cases of pneumonia in eight months at a major medical center is hardly notable. Yet suspicion was aroused because the patients shared several characteristics: they were young, their pneumonias were caused by Pneumocystis carinii, a type of infection generally seen only inpatients who were severely immunosuppressed because of the chemotherapy used to treat a known disease (factors absent from these patients’ histories), and all five were homosexuals.” (Panem, The AIDS Bureaucracy, p. 8)

“The first documented case of AIDS in the United States was identified by a young immunologist, Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His first patient sought medical care because of weight loss. He had candidiosis, a thick white coating in his mouth (Gottlieb, 1998). One week later this patient was readmitted to the UCLA Medical Hospital with fever and with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Soon, local physicians in Los Angeles referred several more patients with weight loss, fever, and candidiosis to Gottleib. All were young gay men.” (Singhal and Rogers, Combating AIDS Communication Strategies in Action, p. 49)

“On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on five previously healthy, homosexual men who had been treated for biopsy-proven Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). The cluster of cases was noteworthy because the five men had no clinically apparent underlying immunodeficiency and, as the report stated, PCP in the United States “is almost exclusively limited to severely immunosuppressed patients”” (Valdiserri, Dawning Answers How the HIV/AIDS Epidemic Has Helped to Strengthed Public Health, p. 5)

“The story of HIV/AIDS begins in the 1979 and in 1980 when doctors in the US observed clusters of previously extremely rare diseases. These included a type of pneumonia carried by birds (pneumocystis carinii) and a cancer called Karposi’s sarcoma. The phenomenon was first reported in the Morbidity and Morality Weekly report (MMWR) of 5 June 1981, published by the US Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. The MMWR reported five cases of pneumocystis carinii.” (Barnett and Whiteside, AIDS in the Twenty-First Century Disease and Globalization, p. 28)

“AIDS was first recognized as a new and distinct clinical entity in 1981 (Gottlieb et al,. 1981; Masur et al., 1981; Siegal et al., 1981). The first case were recognized because of an unusual clustering of disease such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in young homosexual men. Although such unusual diseases had been previously observed in distinct subgroups of the population-such as older men of Mediterranean origin in the case of Kaposi’s sarcoma or severely immunosuppressed cancer patients in the case of PCP-the occurrence of these disease in previously healthy young people was unprecedented. Since most of the first cases of this newly defined clinical syndrome involved homosexual men, lifestyle practices were first implicated and intensely investigated. These included the exposure to amyl or butyl nitrate ‘poppers’ or the frequent contact with sperm through rectal sex, which might have acted as immunostimulatory doses of foreign proteins or antigens.” (Mayer and Pizer, editors, The AIDS Pandemic: Impact on Science and Society, p. 15)

“The first reported cases of the new syndrome were recorded in the Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report (MMWR) June 5, 1981. Five young men, all active homosexuals, had been treated in Los Angeles hospitals for a rare infection, Pneumocystis carnii pneumonia (PCP). Two of these five patients had died. All had evidence of other infections and a defective immune system.” (Foege, “The National Pattern of AIDS” in The AIDS Epidemic by Kevin M. Cahill editor, p. 7)

“The first documented case of AIDS in the United States was identified by a young immunologist, Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb, at the university of California, Los Angeles. His first patient sought medical care because of weight loss. He had candidiosis, a thick, white coating in his mouth (Gottleib, 1998). One week later, this patient was readmitted to the UCLA Medical Hospital with fever and with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Soon, local physicians in Los Angeles referred several more patients with weight loss, fever, and candidiosis to Gottleib. All were young gay men. Their opportunistic infections led Gottlieb to suspect problems with their immune systems, and he found that the men indeed had a deficiency of T lymphocytes (Gottlieb, 2001).” (Singhal and Rogers, Combating AIDS Communication Strategies in Action, p. 49-50)

“In June 1981, the weekly newsletter of the Centers for Disease Control noted an unusual medical occurrence. In the previous six months, five young gay men in Los Angeles had all been diagnosed with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)- a rare disease, virtually seen in young American men. Two had died. The blurb ran on the newsletter’s second page, followed by a long article on alcohol consumption in Utah. Nothing akin to the Los Angeles oddity was mentioned again for several weeks. But slowly, new and equally puzzling reports dribbled in. From New York City: twenty cases of Kasposi’s sarcoma, a rare skin cancer, usually found in elderly men of Mediterranean descent. From Los Angeles: six more cases of Kaposi’s, and a few new ones of PCP. From San Francisco: Karsopi’s sarcoma, PCP, and a smattering of other unusual maladies. Within one year, the CDC accumulated over 350 of these increasing alarming reports. Six months later the number topped 1000-almost all fatal, almost all among otherwise healthy gay men.” (Schwartzberg, A Crisis of Meaning How Gay Men are Making Sense of AIDS, p. 3)

“A review of primary source material such as medical charts and SFDPH AIDS case reports makes a compelling case for seeing the health departments records and subsequent characterization of these patients in the press and popular narratives as flawed in several respects.” (Cochrane,When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p.55)

“First, risk factors were reported inaccurately for one-third of the initial cohort; for example three of the nine were intravenous drug users, none was initially reported with that risk.” (Cochrane, When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p. 55)

“Second, census tract data used by the city’s Department of Public Health for reporting these patients were inaccurate for five of these men (55 percent of the total) and demonstrated bias toward overemphasizing the “gayness” of the disease.” (Cochrane, When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p. 56)

“As a third and related point, contrary to popular characterizations of patients in the early years of the epidemic, my review of primary source materials indicates that the socioeconomic status of the majority of these early AIDS cases was very tenuous.” (Cochrane, When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p. 56)

“In sum, many of the AIDS patients reported in San Francisco during the first several years of this epidemic had preexisting health problems (whether congenital or chronic) and/or engaged in risk practices that independently elevated the likelihood that they would experience premature disability or death (e. g. high level of recreational drug abuse, injecting drug use, alcoholism, repeated and/or unresolved systematic infections). However, the majority of these contributing factors to disease were elided from official surveillance reports and historical narratives on the epidemic that were intended for the lay public and representation of a mysterious epidemic striking down previously healthy and relatively wealthy gay men persisted.” (Cochrane, When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p. 105)

“Identifying the social determinants and correlates of this disease would have been more straightforward if the disease had not first appeared-or rather, had not been represented-as an epidemic of affluent and previously healthy white gay men. Empirical evidence contradicting this representation was clearly evident in medical journals from the late 1970s, which published studies claiming that the health of a subset of gay men in major cities of the United States resembled “the tropics in the Third World,” with epidemic levels of sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis B, CMV, gay bowl disease, and other infectious diseases (even cholera and typhoid).” (Cochrane, When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p. 190-191)

The following quotes are from various sources concerning the first five cases reported in the CDC’s MMWR of June 5, 1981, titled Pneumocystis Pneumonia --- Los Angeles June 5, 1981 / 30(21); 1-3

“The first official announcement was published on June 5, 1981, by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the federal epidemiology agency in Atlanta. Its weekly bulletin, the Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report (MMWR), described the five severe pneumonia cases observed between October 1980 and May 1981 in three Los Angeles hospitals. Two unusual facts justified their warnings: all patients were young men (twenty-nine to thirty-six old) whose sexual preference was homosexual, and all had pneumonia attributable to Pneumocysstis carinii. This protozoan is nearly ubiquitous. It parasitizes numerous animals. It is found often enough in the human body, but causes serious illness only when fostered by a deficit in the immune system, either in newborns or in adults receiving immunosuppressive drugs. The diagnoses of PCP had been confirmed by lung biopsy samples obtained either by the bronchoscopic or surgical approach.” (Grmek, History of AIDS, (p. 4)

“It was at the CDC that the first indications of the impending AIDS epidemic became evident in the autumn of 1980. Between October 1980 and May 1981 an alert physician, Dr Michael Gottleib, together with colleagues at three different hospitals in Los Angeles, became intrigued by a cluster of five young male patients, whose ages ranged from 29 to 36 years, under their care. Two of the patients died and the remaining three were seriously ill. All five men, who had previously been healthy, were diagnosed as having a highly unusual form of pneumonia due to a parasite called Pneumocystis carinii. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (often abbreviated to PCP) had previously been found virtually exclusively in patients with severe suppression of their immune systems caused by drugs or disease. In addition, all of these patients had evidence of having been infected with a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV) which is similarly common in immunosuppressed patients. All five of these patients were also infected with thrush, which is again characteristic of immunosuppressed individuals. Indeed, in three of the five who were tested there was evidence of marked disturbances in the functional capacities of their immune systems. A further feature of the five men was that all were sexually active homosexuals. None of them knew each other, however, and there did not appear to be a common sexual contact. At this stage this all pointed to an association with a homosexual lifestyle and a sexually transmitted disease. The first report of these observations appeared in a relatively small unobtrusive insert in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the CDC on 5 June 1981.” (Schoub, AIDS & HIV in Perspective, p. 2)

“In the late spring of 1981, Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb, four of his colleagues at the UCLS School of Medicine, and Dr.I Pozalski at Cedars Mt. Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles came upon a remarkable medical mystery. Between October 1980 and May 1981 they treated 5 young male homosexuals hospitalized with Pnuemocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), a rare infection. Also all had other “opportunistic” infections, normally seen only in organ transplant patients whose immune systems have been broken down intentionally to assist in acceptance of the new organ, and two of the men died during treatment. The sudden appearance of these diseases in so many otherwise healthy men was alarming. The doctors reported the cases in June 5, 1981 issue of the Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report (MMWR), published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, a periodical in which current public health problems and statistics are discussed.” (Choi, Assembling the AIDS Puzzle: Epidemiology, p. 15 in AIDS Facts and Issues editors Victor Gong M.D. and Normn Rudnick.)

"In March of 1981 Weisman’s patient had been admitted to UCLA. Tests showed he had the same immune system abnormalities as Gottlieb’s patient. He too, was diagnosed as having pneumocystis. Within a couple of weeks another of Weisman’s patients was hospitalized at UCLA. He’d been suffering from mysterious fatigue and fevers, had been exposed to cytomegalovirus, and had pneumocystis. His immune system was abnormally depressed. And he was gay.

Gottlieb ran across afourth case of a gay man who’d been exposed to cytomegalovirus and had just died of pneumoncystis.

Then a fifth case: same pattern. fatigue, fever, cytomegalovirus pneumocystis, gay." (Black, The Plague Years: A Chronicle of AIDS, The Epidemic of Our Times, p. 38)

Patient #1

“In December of that year another physician in the Los Angels area, Dr. Michael Gottlieb, was studying a patient at UCLA who was suffering from candida. Gottleib and his colleagues ran some blood tests and found that the man’s immune system was in shambles. Eventually the patient was diagnosed as having pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.” (Black, The Plague Years: A Chronicle of AIDS, The Epidemic of Our Times, p. 38)

“It had all begun with an ordinary attack of hives. When he woke up that morning, Ted Peters, thirty-one, a free-lance model working for a fashion agency in Westwood, the residential area of West Los Angeles, felt some small bumps on his tongue and the inner lining of his mouth. A mirror showed him that the whole of his mouth and tongue was covered with a strange whitish coating. Puzzled, Ted Peters rinsed his mouth with a gargle. He had often suffered from skin problems, but never before in his mouth. Like many other sexually active young men, he was prone to episodic outbreaks herpes. He had also been the victim of several bouts of venereal disease. Appropriate treatment had always cured such irritations.” (Lapierre, Beyond Love, p.27)

“The man, Arnold, was a successful artist in Los Angeles and he had never been sick in his life. To the doctors at the Clinical Center he presented a puzzling constellation of symptoms. Candida, or thrush, is a yeast infection of the skin and mucous membranes that is usually seen only in newborn babies whose immune systems are still immature and in older patients whose immune systems have been depressed by medications or by cancers.” (Fettner and Check, The Truth About AIDS Evolution of an Epidemic, p. 12)

Patient #2

“The arrival, one morning in October 1980, a hair dresser from West Hollywood in Joel Weisman’s consulting room was rudely to disrupt this relative optimism. This young gay man of twenty-five, with no known medical history, was suffering from chronic infection of the skin, the mucous membranes, and the nails. “His epidermis is nothing but one big open wound,” Joel Weisman noted on his card.” (Lapierre, Beyond Love, p.39-40)

“In late 1980 one of Weisman’s patients, also a gay man, wasn’t responding to treatment. For three months he’d been getting weaker. He lost thirty pounds. He ran fevers of around 104 degrees. His lymph glands were slow were slower. And he developed a yeast like fungus, called candida or thrush, that caked his mouth, the back of his throat, all the way down his esophagus.” (Black, The Plague Years: A Chronicle of AIDS, The Epidemic of Our Times, p. 37)

“Shortly afterward, Dr. Joel Weisman, a private physician in the San Fernando Valley, admitted to UCLA a man in his early thirties who had been ill for three months with daily fevers of 104, weight loss of more than thirty pounds, and swollen lymph glands. As was Arnold, Al was a homosexual. “Al was a hardworking man who didn’t use drugs and didn’t seem to be sexually active outside his steady relationship. He was an unlikely candidate for a severe illness, Weisman says. None of the standard tests and examinations Weisman performed on AL revealed a reason for the wasting illness.” (Fettner and Check, The Truth About AIDS Evolution of an Epidemic, p. 13)

Patient #3

“An event occurred that altered the situation dramatically: the visit in Joel Weisman’s clinic of a second patient with identical symptoms. This time it was a young publicist from Hollywood, also gay, and also without any previous medical history." (Lapierre, Beyond Love, p.41)

“Less than two weeks later, a man named Ron was admitted to UCLA, again referred by Weisman. Gottlieb was confronted with case number 3. He was very much like the others, except “Ron was an IV drug user, a real swinger who had been on a self-destructive binge for two years,” according to Weisman.” (Fettner and Check, The Truth About AIDS Evolution of an Epidemic, p. 14)

Patient # either 2 or 3

“He was hospitalize in February 1981 in the immunology division of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) hospital. It reminded physician Michael Gottlieb of a case he had seen there in Dec 1980: the blood of a patient with similar symptoms had shown a reduction in the population of lymphocytes, due to almost complete disappearance of the helper T subgroup. They found the same phenomenon in Weisman’s patient. In both cases microscopic examination of bronchial brushings revealed Pnuemocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Both patients shared another characteristic: they were gay.”(Grmek, History of AIDS, p. 4)

Patient #4 and 5

“The three men decided to regroup their patients in the UCLA hospital. “The appearance at the beginning of 1981, of a fourth case of pneumocystis pneumonia, this time in a black homosexual, swiftly followed by a fifth case, suddenly made the thing look like a real epidemic,” Gottlieb would explained.” (Lapierre, Beyond Love, p.41)

“Gottlieb spoke with Wayne Shandera, a physician with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, who found a similar case in his files. By May 1981 the number of such patients hospitalized in Los Angeles, examined by with careful scientific, grew to five. Soberly and discreetly, California physicians issued the alarm signal.” (Grmek, History of AIDS, p. 4)

"Asking Shndera if he had recently heard of any unusual diseases in gay men, Gottlieb specified CMV as the organism that had been found in the three cases he had encountered. “No,” replied Shandera,” but I’ll take a look around.” He did not have to look far. Upstairs in the Health Department’s laboratory he found an isolate of CMV growing in a culture. The microbe had been recovered from the lung of a man who had died a month before-of pneumocystis. Shandera drove out to Santa Monica hospital where the man had died and examined his records: they revealed this man, too, had been gay. Back in his office, Shandera began telephoning other hospitals and physicians who were likely to see infectious disease. At Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Irvin Pozalski said he had a “surprising” case of PC in a formerly healthy gay man. That made five.” (Fettner and Check, The Truth About AIDS Evolution of an Epidemic, p. 16)

“In March of 1981 Weisman’s patient had been admitted to UCLA. Tests showed he had the same immune system abnormalities as Gottlieb’s patient. He too, was diagnosed as having pneumocystis. Within a couple of weeks another of Wiesman’s patients was hospitalized at UCLA. He’d been suffering from mysterious fatigue and fevers, had been exposed to cytomegalovirus, and had pneumocystis. His immune system was abnormally depressed. And he was gay. Gottlieb ran across a fourth case of a gay man who’d been exposed to cytomegalovirus and had just died of pneumocystis. Then a fifth case: same pattern. Fatigue, fever, cytomegalovirus, pneumocystis, gay." (Black, The Plague Years: A Chronicle of AIDS, The Epidemic of Our Times, p. 38)

“Two had routinely used poppers (the drugs amyl or butyl nitrite, used by many gays to enhance sexual enjoyment) and had been sexually active with large numbers of other men, many of whom were anonymous contacts in gay bars and bathhouses. All of the men had high levels of various infections or the antibodies that indicate previous exposure to infections.” (Fettner and Check, The Truth About Aids: Evolution of an Epidemic, p. 15)

“15. Gottlieb et al., for instance reported in December 1981 that, of four patients, one had been monogamous for four years, two had several regular partners, and only one “was highly sexually active and frequented homosexual bars and bathhouses” (Pneunocystis Carinii Pneumonia and Mucosal Candidasis,” 1429)” (Epstien, Impure Science, p. 380)

“One of the most obvious common denominators was that all five patients had used poppers, amyl or butyl nitrite, inhalants that intensify organism.” (Black, The Plague Years: A Chronicle of AIDS, The Epidemic of Our Times, p. 39)

“The five patients also suffered from candidiase, a benign fungal disorder of the mucous membranes. Serologic tests had confirmed CMV infection. All five used “poppers” (amyl or butyl nitrite inhalers, so named for the noise their ampules made when broken); one was also an intravenous drug abuser.” (Grmek, History of AIDS Emergence and Origin of a Modern Pandemic, p. 5)

By their own 1981 definition (CDC), therefore, one of the first five cases in Los Angeles would be disqualified as an AIDS case, by virtue of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for Hodgkin’s disease. The definition included that there was “no know underlying cause for immunodeficiency.

“The original AIDS was defined as an immunodeficiency for which their was no apparent reason, and which allowed illnesses and death to be produced by bacteria and viruses that are widespread but typically held in check by healthy immune systems. The signature diseases were Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS-visible purple blotches on the skin), a specific type of pneumonia (PCP-Pneumnocystis carinii peneumonia), and fungal infections-candidiasis, yeast, thrush (Broder and Gallo 1984).” (Bauer, The Origins, Persistence and Failings of the HIV/AIDS Theory, p. 18)

“The first died in March 1981. In 1978 this patient had been given the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease. He was treated successfully by radiotheraphy.” (Grmek, History of AIDS, p. 5)

“Turning to the original MMWR report of June 5, 1981, however, reveals that all five patients were characterized as “previously healthy” despite their disparate clinical histories: one patient was an intravenous drug abuser, one had been treated with radiation for Hodgkin’s disease, four had evidence of past hepatitis B infection, and all five “reported using inhalant drugs.”” (Cochrane, When AIDS Began San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, p. 24)

Following this look at the first five patients that were the beginning of what became known as the HIV/AIDS crisis, the next article, titled “New” looks at a general understanding of the gay/homosexual lifestyle of the 1970s and early 1980s.

Bibliography

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Culshaw, Rebecca. Science Sold Out Does HIV Really Cause AIDS? North Atlantic Books. Berkeley, CA, 2007.

Epstein, Steven. Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge. University of California Press. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and New York, 1996.

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Foege, “The National Pattern of AIDS” in The AIDS Epidemic by Kevin M. Cahill editor

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Panem, Sandra. The AIDS Bureaucracy. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA and London, England, 1988.

Schwartzberg, Steven. A Crisis of Meaning How Gay Men Are Making Sense of AIDS. Oxford University Press. New York and Oxford, 1996.

Schoub, Barry D. AIDS and HIV in Perspective. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge UK, 1999.

Singhal, Arvind and Everett M. Rogers. Combating AIDS: Communication Strategies in Action. Sage Publications. Thousand Oaks, CA, 2003.

Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Ronald O. Dawning Answers How the HIV/AIDS Epidemic Has Helped to Strengthen Public Health. Oxford University Press. Oxford and New York, 2003.

Vass, Anthony, A. AIDS: A Plague in Us: A Social Perspective: The Condition and its Social Consequences. St. Ives, Cambs. : Venus Academica, 1986.


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