The Bubonic plague slowed urbanisation, industrial development and economic growth in Europe for many years.
Despite being so small they can't be seen with the naked eye, pathogens that cause human disease have greatly affected the way humans live for centuries.
Spanish flu killed more people than the Great War that preceded it. And tuberculosis even more than that.
Here we explore our past and present struggles with four of the most significant infectious diseases human beings have faced, and some of the progress we've made in prevention and treatment.
In sickness and in health.
AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
Marriage has long been tied to better health. The first study of the relationship between marriage, health and quality of life for LGBT Americans affirms the benefits of marriage – with some caveats.
Reggie Batiste with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Atlanta administers an HIV test.
The number of new HIV-positive cases has sharply declined – in most parts of the country. Nonurban areas, particularly in the South, are showing sharp increases. Why?
Under pressure to create new markets, big alcohol producers are scouring the African continent in what promises to yield negative socioeconomic consequences.
Keeping medical data electronically is ideal. It saves time and can be used more efficiently.
Africa is expected to have among the steepest increases in the number of people affected by non-communicable diseases - it needs health care systems that can cope.
Some of the notable additions to the PBS include drugs to treat eye and HIV infections, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
An independent expert provides his pick of the most notable drugs added to the PBS on May 1, 2017.
Actress and U.N. Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd visited a refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan in 2016.
AP Photo/Raad Adayleh
Contraception saves lives, and U.S. spending on it abroad had an unintended upside when it formed the backbone of early HIV prevention efforts.
Double standards about sexual activity not only make life difficult, but they also complicate STD research. As we observe STD Awareness Month, it's good to think about how to get to the truth.
Cultural portrayals of HIV and AIDS tend to be stuck in the past.
South Africans may have political rights, but many don’t enjoy the basics celebrated in the constitution.
As South Africa marks Human Rights Day and the 20th anniversary of its constitution it's a good time to reflect on the problems it faces in making constitutional rights a reality.
Mass funeral for the victims of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre.
Besides a reminder of a dark period in South Africa's history, Human Rights Day also celebrates the country's unique, highly acclaimed constitution which guarantees human dignity and equal rights.
The HIV virus.
We have an awful lot in common with the viruses that infect us.
HIV plays hide and seek with the body’s immune system to evade detection. But we can learn from its tactics to make a range of vaccines against infectious diseases.
Researchers are learning how HIV hides from the immune system to develop a new generation of vaccines for seemingly unrelated diseases, like the flu.
AIDS march in Los Angeles.
AIDS and HIV are still major health threats, fueled by poverty and discrimination as much as by the virus responsible for the infection.
It’s not all ha ha hee hee hee.
When it comes to sexual health, public information has tended to focus on the young. Time for a change.
Two characters who feature in the film PILI about rural women living with HIV in Tanzania.
The stories of HIV positive women in Tanzania often go unheard outside the communities in which they live.
Doing it differently.
Ignoring those at 'high risk' of HIV in order to sustain the idea of the 'good' gay man will only perpetuate the virus.
Rates of sexually transmissible infections among the Indigenous population are still much higher than the non-Indigenous population.
The annual surveillance report of sexually transmissible infections and blood borne viruses in Australia has found notifications of sexually transmissible infections are on the rise in Australia.
Recent improvements in medical management of HIV infection are not well understood in the legal sector.
HIV diagnosis is devastating for patients and their families. But the infection is no longer a death sentence, and should not be prosecuted as such say experts.