In 1981, doctors in New York were puzzled by eight cases of a particularly aggressive form of Kaposi’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer. What was odd was that these cases were all in young homosexual men, when the sarcoma was usually seen in older people.
At the same time other gay men in the USA were seeking medical help for a rare lung infection. A year later the medical community had realised that these conditions were in patients whose immune systems were severely damaged. They were the first patients in the West to be diagnosed with Aids. It was not confined to the developed world: soon it was realised the disease known as “slim” in Africa was also Aids.
With widespread confusion and fear about the new killer disease, the race was on to identify its cause. This series charts the emergence of the disease from medical curiosity to the pandemic of today.
| ||The Aids debate|
Discuss the issues and explore the facts in the BBC's season on Aids