The Meaning of Life (1914) & AIDS (1981-1982)

Baker, John JBaker at STRADLEY.COM
Wed Jan 9 16:27:10 UTC 2002

        It sounds as if the widespread public use of the term must date from
the CDC's announcements in August 1982.  The earliest reference in Science
is Research News:  New Disease Baffles Medical Community:  "AIDS" is a
serious public health hazard, but may also provide insights into the
workings of the immune system and the origin of cancer (Aug. 13, 1982).
Here's the first paragraph:

        >>Within the past 4 years, a new disease of unknown cause and high
virulence has afflicted more than 470 people, killing almost half of them.
"It is a serious public health problem," says Harry Haverkos of the Centers
for Disease Control (CDC), referring to what is known as acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).  "So far 184 people have died, which is
more than the combined total of deaths attributed to toxic shock and the
Philadelphia outbreak of Legionnaire's disease."  Moreover, the toll
continues to mount as 15 to 20 new cases are reported every week.<<

        One gets a sense that the full extent of the problem was not
immediately realized.

John Baker

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