A Comparison of the Early Responses to AIDS in the UK and the US
Upon its emergence in the western world in the early 1980s, AIDS marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of communicable disease. In the early stages of the epidemic there was a distinct lack of knowledge about the causation or transmission of the disease, rendering control of the situation a practical impossibility. It was clear that AIDS necessitated a definitive response from several sectors of society. With its apparent associations with then largely marginalised groups of society, namely homosexuals and injecting drug users, virtually no aspects of the response to AIDS were free from the influence of social and political perceptions of the disease and its victims. The US and the UK have strong political and cultural links and in this essay I will compare the responses of these two nations to the AIDS epidemic at a scientific, political and community level and explore the interactions which occurred therein.
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