AIDS was a terrifying new disease that first appeared in 1981, and then exploded into a global epidemic that killed its victims very rapidly. A cure and vaccine have not yet been found.
Health care professionals quickly pinpointed a retrovirus called "Human Immunodeficiency Virus" and the American Food and Drug Administration approved a blood test to identify the presence of the virus. Then AZT, a chemotherapy drug designed in the 1960's, was approved as a treatment to try to prevent HIV from developing into AIDS.
Unfortunately, the drug was very expensive. And it produced harsh health effects of its own.
Fortunately, the illness began to decline in most areas of the world by the mid-90's ...however, sub-Saharan Africa still lists AIDS as its number one killer. This makes AIDS the 4th leading cause of death worldwide and it's still an enormous health emergency.
The solution is elusive, because HIV is elusive.
The virus has never been isolated. The HIV test only measures antibodies against proteins which are believed to be part of HIV.
The progression of AIDS remains poorly understood. Nobody knows how the virus makes one person get one symptom and another person get another symptom ...or why some people never get any symptoms at all.
Or why people can have AIDS symptoms but test negative for HIV.
Or why people can have HIV and even AIDS ...and then test negative or overcome their symptoms.
Why all the questions? Because HIV-AIDS was always handled as a medical emergency, and so the response was technological.
The scientific response has only just begun.
Listen to Episode 8 of the Mind Over Symptom Podcast, "HIV Positive? Your Biggest Threat (and What You Can Do About It)" to take a refreshing look at what AIDS is really about, why it happens, and how it's possible to resolve this collection of symptoms right at the source.