Ep 36 HIV Pathology | Defenceless

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Published May 7, 2021, 5:24 AM

** Thanks for downloading this episode. If you'd like to stay in touch with our continuing story, Season 2 continues at This Medical Life, in which Dr Travis Brown continues his exploration of diseases and our approaches to treatment from history to the modern day. Have a look in your podcast app now for This Medical Life, and hit subscribe so you never miss an episode **

In June 1981, the CDC reported an article of 5 men who presented with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). PCP is an opportunistic infection more commonly found immunosuppressed patients (ie. patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer).

The 5 men were young and otherwise healthy.

They were also all homosexual.

In July 1981, another CDC article reported 26 men who presented with PCP as well as Kaposi sarcoma. Kaposi sarcoma is a rare blood vessel tumour. This could not be a coincidence and the world was on the precipice of a pandemic that would kill millions and unleash a wave of homophobia, prejudice and demonization.

Fortunately, today, HIV is a manageable disease and patients can continue to live productive and healthy lives which could not be further from this once terminal diagnosis.

This is the story of HIV.

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