Gay-related immune deficiency

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Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) was the name first proposed in 1982 to describe an "unexpected cluster of cases"[1] of what is now known as AIDS,[2] after public health scientists noticed clusters of Kaposi's sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia among gay males in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City.[1] During this time, the phrases "gay cancer"[3] and "gay plague"[4] were also used.

During the early history of AIDS, when it was considered a disease of homosexual men, at least one physician suggested that male homosexuals reconsider the practice of engaging in anonymous sex.[5]

An ad hoc organization called Gay Men's Health Crisis was founded to combat what appeared to be a homosexual-only disease produced by sexual promiscuity or the use of intravenous drugs or poppers. Soon after, clusters of Kaposi's sarcoma and Pneumocystis pneumonia were also reported among Haitians recently entering the United States[6] and hemophiliacs, among female sexual partners of AIDS patients, and among blood transfusion recipients with no other obvious risk factors.

The term AIDS (for acquired immune deficiency syndrome) was proposed later in 1982[7] by researchers concerned with the accuracy of the disease's name. In this new name, scientists were supported by political figures who realized that the term "gay-related" did not fully encompass the demographics of the disease. On April 23, 1984, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary announced at a press conference that the probable cause of AIDS had been discovered: the retrovirus that was subsequently named human immunodeficiency virus or HIV in 1986.

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  1. ^ a b "A Cluster of Kaposi's Sarcoma and Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia among Homosexual Male Residents of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California. MMWR, 31(23);305-7 (June 18, 1982)". Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  2. ^ "The History of AIDS and ARC" at the LSU Law Center
  3. ^ Wright, Joe (May 8, 2006). "Remembering the Early Days of 'Gay Cancer'". NPR. 
  4. ^ Gibson, Caitlin (December 1, 2015). "A disturbing new glimpse at the Reagan administration's indifference to AIDS". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  5. ^ 'Dr. Lawrence D. Mass, a New York City physician, said that "gay people whose life style consists of anonymous sexual encounters are going to have to do some serious rethinking."' NY Times, 1982-05-011
  6. ^ "Opportunistic Infections and Kaposi's Sarcoma among Haitians in the United States, MMWR, 31(26);353-4,360-1 (July 09, 1982)". Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  7. ^ "Time Magazine: Living With GRID: Personal Journey ". 2003-03-23. Archived from the original on 2003-04-04.