June 1981 marked the beginning of an indepth investigation by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of clusterings of two rare disorders, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and Kaposi's sarcoma, in homosexual men. These diseases were soon recognized as two of the many opportunistic infections and cancers that can attack the immune systems of persons who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
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