As COVID19 engulfs the world and has already killed millions of people across the globe, people are looking back at a similar epidemic from the past. HIV/AIDS was one such pandemic that literally shook the world and more so the African continent in the last decades of the twentieth century. Years down as we still fight the stigma around HIV, the disease itself has become more of a manageable chronic illness. Below are five points on why the virus was deadly in the early years.
- As AIDS takes years to develop, people went years without knowing they were infected with HIV.
- People would not know for almost a decade that they were infected and appeared healthy to their partners; they would engage in unprotected sex and thus spread HIV to others.
- The outbreak was most prominent in gay men, a demographic that society was indifferent to at that point of time.
- Even when it was detected, there was confusion between HIV and AIDS. People at large often confuse HIV with AIDS
- It took years before there were more effective treatment regimens that could reliably allow someone to live a full life. New drugs and treatments don’t just materialize overnight.
Image credit : The Guardian