HIV and AIDS: Causes and Affects On the Population of Nigeria

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In 1959, at the same time the U.S. and the world were celebrating the defeat of polio, a new lethal disease was silently incubating. In Edward Hooper's book, The River, he describes a man degenerating from a myriad of diseases brought about by an indefinable virus. He describes a former sailor named David Carr, as his health steadily and painfully declines. In 1958, the strong, healthy, and soon to be married man, suddenly developed gum disease, profuse rashes, and experienced chronic fatigue. Soon he developed hemorrhoids, and experienced extreme weight loss, fevers, and his coughing would bring forth mucus mixed with blood. Shortly after his ailments began he quit his job, as his co-workers rumored that David had leukemia. David's health descended further with the hemorrhoids growing into a softball sized crater. The doctors in Manchester, UK, suspected tuberculosis, syphilis, or Wegener's granulomatosis, and in an attempt to eradicate his unique disease, subjected David to radio and chemotherapy, steroids, and an assortment of drugs.

Later enormous boils broke out on David's face, which he attempted to cover with facial hair. He remained in bed-rest at the hospital and as the boils blossomed into ulcers, eating away at his lips and facial tissue, he began discouraging visitors. A year after his initial symptoms David's skin hung loosely upon his withering frame. His symptoms now included various ulcer outbreaks across his body and difficulty breathing from lack of oxygen, which subsequently turned his swollen extremities blue. During his final days in agony, the doctors sedated him with an amalgam of morphine, cocaine, and gin. The virus responsible for David's suffering, leading to his death, and two similar cases that occurred simultaneously, would not be defined for another 24 years. This revelation occurred in 1983, when Dr. Luc Montagnier et al. at...