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NCJ Number: 118987 Find in a Library
Title: What is an Epidemic? AIDS in Historical Perspective
Journal: Daedalus  Volume:118  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1989)  Pages:1-40
Author(s): C E Rosenberg
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 41
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the characteristics of an epidemic and provides an historical perspective of AIDS.
Abstract: A true epidemic is an event, not a trend, that elicits immediate and widespread response, is highly visible, and does not proceed with imperceptible effect until retrospectively "discovered" by historians and demographers. The events of a classic epidemic succeed each other in predictable narrative sequence: first the progressive revelation or the gradual recognition of the intruding disease; then the public admission of its existence and randomness; and finally, the pressure it generates for decisive and visible community response. AIDS seems to follow this succession of events with one addition, the difficulty of inducing changes in behavior. The characteristics of AIDS as a modern epidemic are the rapidity of its geographic spread, the effect of media attention, the capacities of modern medicine, the institutional complexity of society, and a complex and inconsistent health-care system. 24 notes.
Main Term(s): AIDS/HIV epidemiology
Index Term(s): AIDS/HIV transmission; Medical and dental services
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