Advances in ME/CFS: Past, Present and Future, by Kenneth J Friedman in Front. Pediatr., 18 April 2019 https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2019.00131
The forerunner of what is today termed myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) was described by the CDC in 1934. At the present time, we still do not know its cause and or how to detect it by routine clinical laboratory tests. In consequence the pathological nature of ME/CFS has been overlooked and the disease has been stigmatized by being mislabeled as psychosomatic or somatoform illness.
Such misperceptions of the disease have led to sub-standard research exploration of the disease and minimal to absent patient care. A 2015 Institute of Medicine report on the illness declared ME/CFS a disease affecting up to 2.5 million Americans and chastised the U.S. government for doing little to research the disease and to support its patients.
Clinicians who currently treat this disease declare it to be more devastating than HIV/AIDS. A comparison of the histories of the two diseases, an examination of the current status of the two diseases, and a listing of the accomplishments that would be needed for ME/CFS to achieve the same level of treatment and care as currently experienced by patients with HIV/AIDS is provided.