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Abstract

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.

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