NOVA Airs AIDS History
Fighting for Our Lives
Imagine being struck down with a
disease so new it has no name, so deadly
it will kill more than 2,000 people in its
first four years, so baffling it is being
called the "disease of the century."
Is this the plot for a new science
fiction film? Unfortunately not. This
scenario is grounded in real life.
Doctors now have named this ailment
"Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome" or
How modern science has been unraveling
the mystery of the disease was the subject
of nova's "AIDS: Chapter One," which
aired Feb. 12 on PBS television.
The program took viewers back to 1981,
when the first ominous clues appeared.
Doctors in Los Angeles, New York, and San
Francisco were reporting a highly unusual
pneumonia and a rare form of skin cancer
in otherwise healthy, young gay men.
Although the two diseases are vastly
different from one another, a pattern
emerged. Both were signs of breakdown in
the body's immune system. What was
NOVA then picked up the trail in
Cruise to Benefit AIDS
St. Claire Travel of San Jose, CA is
offering people a chance to take a popular
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The agency's October 6, 1985 cruise has
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cruise for the A.I.D.S. Foundation. The
itinerary includes Puerto Plata, St.
Thomas, San Juan, and Nassau. Five per
cent of the ten percent discount will be a
tax deductible donation from the partici
pant to the A.I.D.S. Foundation.
The discount rate of $951 per person
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airfare from most major cities, baggage
handling, and transfer from airport to
For more information, contact:
St. Claire Travel
368 Town & Country Village
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Open 3-9 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Atlanta, where the job of fitting together
the early pieces of the puzzle fell to the
Centers for Disease Central (CDC), whose
elite corps of epidemiologists investigate
the causes and control of epidemics. NOVA
talked to the medical detectives at the
CDC who sifted through the evidence,
searching for the who, what, vdien and
where of the deadly ailment.
The hunt for the "why" of AIDS made up
the rest of NOVA's modern-day detective
story. The chase intensified when two
laboratories, one in Bethesda, MD, and the
other in France, closed in simultaneously
on the lethal culprit.
All this was played out against a very
human backdrop—the ongoing struggle of
people who were fighting for their lives.
NOVA talked with people with AIDS and
their doctors as they watched for signs
that treatment methods would be found.
NOVA, the award-winning weekly science
documentary series, is produced for PBS by
WGBH in Boston and is made possible by
grants from public television stations,
the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies,
and Allied Corporation.
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