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AIDS or Aids, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is a collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).


  • In the end one cannot avoid the conclusion that AIDS unites certain human themes — homosexuality, sexual disease, and death — about which society actively resists enlightenment. These are things that we are unwilling to address or even think about. We don't want to understand them. We would rather fear them.
    • Martin Amis, "Making Sense of AIDS" (1985), in The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America (1986).
  • When AIDS was at its most brutal, frightening, my-God-what-are-we-going-to-do era, that was when vampire stories and stories about blood and trust swept the literary world.
  • As individual and unpredictable as this illness seems to be, the one thing I found I could say with certainty was this: AIDS makes things more intensely what they already are.
  • On December 22,1986, finding I was body positive, I set myself a target: I would disclose my secret and survive Margaret Thatcher. I did. Now I have set my sights on the millennium and a world where we are all equal.
  • Since the mid-1970s, more than 30 new diseases have emerged, including AIDS, Ebola, Lyme disease and SARS. Most of these are believed to have moved from wildlife to human populations.
    • Mary Pearl president of the Wildlife Trust in a Newsweek magazine interview. Awake! magazine, article: Will Science Cure the World?, January 2007.
  • There are many who wish to believe that premarital sex causes venereal diseases, that homosexuality causes AIDS... This is simply not true; infectious diseases are caused by infectious agents.
    • P. Skrabanek, "Preventive Medicine and Morality," Lancet 1 (8473)(1986): 143.
  • All that is required of us, in our "new sexual ethic," is that we have sex in a way that favours us more than it favours our diseases.
    • Richard Summerbell, Body Politic, June 1983 (reported in Ann Silversides, AIDS activist: Michael Lynch and the Politics of Community (2003), p. 32).

  • ..."That disease he has does an awful job on you. Your lungs fill up."
"Well, he should have kept his penis out of other men's bottoms then," Janice says, lowering her voice though, so the nurses and orderlies in the hall don't hear.
John Updike, "Rabbit at Rest" (1990)

  • You want to know why I don't have AIDS, why I'm not HIV-positive like so many other people? I don't fuck around. It's as simple as that.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake" (1997) (p.43)

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