AIDS: The Making of a Chronic Disease
When AIDS was first recognized in 1981, most experts believed that is was a plague, a virulent unexpected disease. They throught AIDS, as a plague, would resemble the great epidemics of the past: it would be devastating but would soon subside, perhaps never to return. By the middle 1980s, however, it became increasingly clear that AIDS was a chronic infection, not a classic plague. In this follow-up to AIDS: The Burden of History , the editors present essays that describe how AIDS has come to be regarded as a chronic disease. Representing diverse fields and professions, the 23 contributors to this work use historical methods to analyze politics and public policy, human rights issues, and the changing populations with HIV infection. They examine the federal government's testing of drugs for cancer and HIV and show how the policy makers' choice of a specific historical model (chronic disease versus plague) affected their decisions. A photo essay reveals the strength of women from various backgrounds and lifestyles who are coping with HIV. An account of the complex relationships of the gay community to AIDS is included. Finally, several contributors provide a sampling of international perspectives on the impact of AIDS in other nations.