Gay-related immune deficiency
Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) (sometimes informally called the gay plague or GRIDS) was the 1982 name first proposed to describe what is now known as AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

, after public health scientists noticed clusters of Kaposi's sarcoma
Kaposi's sarcoma
Kaposi's sarcoma is a tumor caused by Human herpesvirus 8 , also known as Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus . It was originally described by Moritz Kaposi , a Hungarian dermatologist practicing at the University of Vienna in 1872. It became more widely known as one of the AIDS defining...

 and Pneumocystis pneumonia among gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

 males in Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

 and New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...


During the early history of AIDS, when it was considered a disease of homosexual men, an ad hoc
Ad hoc
Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes. Compare A priori....

organization called Gay Men's Health Crisis
Gay Men's Health Crisis
The Gay Men's Health Crisis is a New York City-based non-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based AIDS service organization that has led the United States in the fight against AIDS.-1980s:...

 was founded to combat what appeared to be a homosexual-only disease produced by sexual promiscuity, intravenous drug use, and/or usage of poppers
Poppers is a slang term for various alkyl nitrites inhaled for recreational purposes, particularly isopropyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite , and now more rarely, butyl nitrite and amyl nitrite...

. Soon after, clusters of Kaposi's sarcoma and Pneumocystis pneumonia were also reported among Haitians
HIV/AIDS in Haiti
Haiti has one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the entire Caribbean. By the end of 2005, the national HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 to 49 was 3.8 percent but has since decreased to 2.2 percent by the end of 2008 due to effective HIV/AIDS education programs, and increased standard of medical...

 recently entering the United States and hemophiliacs, among female sexual partners of AIDS patients, and among blood transfusion recipients with no obvious risk factors.

The term AIDS (for acquired immune deficiency syndrome) was proposed in 1982 by researchers concerned with the accuracy of the disease's name. In this new name, scientists were supported by political figures who realized that the term "gay-related" did not accurately describe the demographic that the disease affected. On April 23, 1984, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary announced at a press conference that the probable cause of AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

: the retrovirus
A retrovirus is an RNA virus that is duplicated in a host cell using the reverse transcriptase enzyme to produce DNA from its RNA genome. The DNA is then incorporated into the host's genome by an integrase enzyme. The virus thereafter replicates as part of the host cell's DNA...

 subsequently named human immunodeficiency virus or HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

in 1986, had been discovered.
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