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The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is an infectious disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2). Infection spreads through transfer of fluids from one person to another, mainly through sexual intercourse and also through intravenous drug use and blood transfusions. HIV is a retrovirus that impairs immune system function, leaving those afflicted open to infections, such as pneumocystis pneumonia and cytomegalovirus. When AIDS first appeared as a medical category in the 1980s, no effective treatment existed, and the disease led almost inevitably to death. The U.S. military acted quickly to screen inductees and active service personnel. Currently, no cure exists for AIDS, but successful treatments can control the disease. Within the U.S. military, AIDS cases have declined to a small ...

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