First clinically observed in 1981, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a group of diseases resulting from disruption to the immune system. AIDS is described as the advanced stage and only develops as a result of contracting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Categorized as a wasting syndrome, symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, severe neuropathy and fatigue.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1 million people in the U.S. are infected with the disease. Since its discovery in 1981, AIDS has taken the lives of more than 36 million people around the world. Currently, it is estimated that 35 million people around the world have HIV. For this reason, the disease is considered a pandemic.
The most common treatment regimens prescribed to AIDS patients are made up of powerful pharmaceuticals that come with many debilitating side effects of their own, including extreme nausea, cachexia, and depression. In 2007, the journal AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV reported that up to 60 percent of AIDS patients use medical cannabis without a physician’s recommendation because of how beneficial it is in the treatment of symptoms.