Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

HIV/AIDS Global Epidemic

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_522

Definition of the Problem

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is now in its third decade since the discovery of the virus responsible for the disease in 1981. While the first cases of AIDS were first recognized in young men who have sex with men in the United States and Europe in the 1980s, it soon became clear that the virus could be spread through contaminated blood products and heterosexual sex. At the time of its discovery, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was a new disease with high mortality, and the discovery of a new human virus as its cause in 1983 created new challenges for prevention, treatment, and vaccine efforts, many of which remain unmet today. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) , as the causative agent of AIDS, has been the subject of intense research over the past three decades, in an effort to understand the biological properties of this new virus, its relatedness to other known retroviruses , characterize its epidemiology, and discover drugs and vaccines to...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA