Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a fatal illness that attacks the immune system, rendering it incapable of defending the body from a variety of rare infections. In the United States, the syndrome was first observed in 1979 in isolated cases in major metropolitan areas. At that time, it affected a limited group of people, mainly homosexual men and drug abusers. Faced with a deadly illness whose cause and mode of transmission were unknown, the public understandably reacted with fear. Many AIDS victims were shunned from schools, workplaces, housing, courts, and medical facilities.
Leisa Y. Kube,
AIDS and Employment Discrimination under the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Virginia's Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol20/iss2/9