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The statistics on AIDS are staggering.
More than 25 million people around the world have died from AIDS-related diseases.
At the end of 2007, UNAIDS estimated that 32.9 million people were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. That’s compared to to 29.5 million in 2001.
Suffice it to say, probably most of us have been touched by HIV/AIDS in some fashion or form. I was first personally impacted in the early 1990s when a co-worker of mine died from AIDS. We were the same age. I remember he had open sores all over his legs from the disease.
HIV is a “lentivirus” that attacks the immune system. The term “lentivirus” denotes a “slow virus” that takes a long time to manifest harmful affects in the body.
As most of us know, HIV is spread by sexual contact with an infected person. It can also be transmitted by sharing needles or syringes with someone who is infected. Less commonly, it is spread by blood transfusion, but the incidence of this has gone down with the advent of blood-screening for HIV antibodies.
The first recognized cases of AIDS occurred in the U.S. in mainly gay men in the early 1980s.
It was back on April 23, 1984 that the AIDS (acquired immune deficiency) virus was identified. The discovery of the AIDS virus was viewed at the time as a gigantic breakthrough in medical research.
On the same day the AIDS virus was identified, transiting Mercury was exactly opposite Pluto in Scorpio. But unless you were an astrologer, you probably didn’t know that at the time. Nor would you have cared.
Mercury rules news and information. It also governs our thinking and ideas.
Opposition aspects often signify turning points or a culmination in awareness.
Pluto, as the ruler of the sign of Scorpio, symbolizes death and rebirth and transformational changes. Pluto’s ray is often associated with life-altering events, historic firsts, and yes, breakthrough discoveries.
Scorpio is the sign of the zodiac that is also connected specifically to medical research. It also rules sex, and Pluto represents sexual issues.
So, to an astrologer, the news of the day on April 23, 1984, of the discovery of the AIDS virus, while exciting and wonderful, was not altogether unexpected due to the Mercury alignment with Pluto. Again, with Mercury Pluto, we expect to hear about monumental achievements or firsts. Mercury opposes Pluto once a year for two or three days.
What is also noteworthy here, when life-altering, transforming Pluto entered the sex sign of Scorpio, is essentially when most of us really became aware of AIDS. It’s also when we started seeing glimpses of the impact of that deadly disease upon the world. Pluto first entered Scorpio in November of 1983. It left that sign in November of 1995.
Written by Patricia Thompson
HIV Virus: http://www.avert.org/origin-aids-hiv.htm
HIV statistic: http://www.globalhealthreporting.org/diseaseinfo.asp?id=265
Butterfly picture: butterfly photo: butterfly picture: http://www.weforanimals.com/wallpapers/butterflies/page-1/butterflies-1.htm
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