Transcript for Researchers Identify HIV Virus: April 23, 1984
Government health officials say scientists have now found the likely cause of the mysterious and deadly disease known as aids. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome has killed more than 17150. People aides -- always fatal. And another 2300 people have -- finding the cause would be an important and significant first step. Finding a cure something else again here's Bettina Gregory. Health and human services secretary Margaret Heckler told a packed news conference the American team not only succeeded in identifying. The virus which probably causes aids. It also developed a process to mass produce it. This means a blood test can be developed within a few months to detect aids. First this could identify victims earlier. And secondly this could prevent the spread of aids by testing blood and blood banks -- donors so far more than eighty Americans have died after contacting aids during a transfusion. -- discovery won't cure the 2300 identified victims of aids the government says it hopes to develop a vaccine to prevent it needs a start testing it within two years. So what we have at the at the moment. Is is not particularly of great benefit to people with the disease right now that is immediately but it hopefully. -- billion. -- short. More doctor Robert Gallo of the National Cancer Institute as a man responsible for the breakthrough. He found -- -- the type of human cancer virus which he named HTLV three. It invades the cells making up the immune systems of -- body. Once inside they produced the virus in quantity -- the virus kills the host cell by bursting out of it and heading off to attack other cells. That's why aids victims lose their ability to resist disease and infection. Federal officials concede the aids epidemic is getting worse. 880 new cases have been reported in the first quarter of this year more than any time since the disease was discovered 1981. And scientists concede they still don't know why homosexual men drug -- and Haitians are most likely to get the disease some victims are naturally uneasy. You know -- existing eight months to a year to live in each on this Sunday to his three years before resting -- Doesn't give them how -- the long -- Recently a French team said it discovered a similar virus causing aids. It may turn out to be the same virus but the Americans say -- further ahead because -- by the French have been unable to produce large quantities of the virus in their lab. This is the key to developing a vaccine to cure -- Bettina Gregory ABC news Washington.
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