The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
AIDS was first recognized as a new distinct clinical entity in 1981. This disease is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and is characterized by gradual wasting, and susceptibility to multiple opportunistic infections and certain cancers. The syndrome was first described in populations of homosexual males and intravenous drug abusers, but AIDS now transcends gender, culture, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle. AIDS is the most important growing epidemic of humans.