Saturday, June 11, 2011

AIDS - 30 years History

Thirty years ago, the CDC published its first mention of the HIV virus. In honor of that anniversary we take a look back at the most important moments in AIDS history.


On June 5, the Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report publishes the first mention of what later is determined to be HIV. The report mentions five cases of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in young men. The MMWR piece prompts reporting from New York, San Francisco and other cities of similar cases.

Six men in New York set up a hotline, receiving 100 calls the first night. The hotline becomes the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization, the Gay Men's Health Crisis.
No HIV/AIDS stats available


Health workers first begin to use the term "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome," or AIDS, to describe the sudden cases of sarcoma or pneumonia infection in previously healthy people.
No HIV/AIDS stats available


Scientists identify the virus that causes AIDS -- first named after the T-cells affected by the strain. Its name is later changed to HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus.
No HIV/AIDS stats available


The Food and Drug Administration approves the first licensed test for HIV.

Rock Hudson shocks the nation when he appears on TV with Doris Day as a "gaunt, ravaged" version of his former leading-man self. Soon after, the actor announces that he is dying of AIDS. As PEOPLE said at the time, his fans "could not accept the idea of a clean-cut, virile star being felled by such an insidious disease." Hudson dies on October 2.

Hudson's good friend Elizabeth Taylor helps launch the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).
DIAGNOSIS: 11,000 | DEATHS: 7,000


Three brothers, Ricky, Robert and Randy Ray, are barred from a public school in Florida because of HIV infection. The Ray brothers are believed to have contracted the virus from tainted blood treatments for their hemophilia. After they win the ensuing court battle, the family’s home is burned down in 1987. The events lead to a nationwide push for education about AIDS transmission. President-elect Bill Clinton tells Ricky before his death in 1992 that he will fund the fight against AIDS.
DIAGNOSIS: 19,000 | DEATHS: 12,000


Activist Cleve Jones makes the first panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt. By 2011, the quilt contains more than 40,000 panels.

The FDA approves AZT, the first antiretroviral drug for treating AIDS.

Activist Larry Kramer creates ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. ACT UP becomes the leader of many nonviolent protests through the 1990s.

Randy Shilts publishes his nonfiction book about the AIDS epidemic, "And the Band Played On."
DIAGNOSIS: 21,000 | DEATHS: 16,000


The Ad Council partners with amfAR and the National AIDS Network to launch a national AIDS education campaign. It's the first ad campaign in the U.S. to use the word "condom." One of the campaign's taglines: "Using it won't kill you. Not using it might."
DIAGNOSIS: 37,000 | DEATHS: 21,000


Congress passes the Ryan White Care Act shortly after the death of Ryan White, a heterosexual teen in Indiana who contracted HIV through hemophilia treatments. White was expelled from school in the mid-1980s because of prejudice, but his maturity and grace taught the country a lesson about those living with HIV.

LIFE magazine publishes a photo of AIDS victim David Kirby as he takes one of his last breaths. The photo by grad student Therese Frare haunts the nation and becomes a symbol of the epidemic in America.
DIAGNOSIS: 49,000 | DEATHS: 31,000


Singer Paul Jabara starts the Red Ribbon Foundation, which begins distributing ribbons as a symbol of tolerance for those living with HIV/AIDS.

In June, Tony Awards co-host Jeremy Irons becomes one of the first celebrities to wear a red ribbon -- creating a media stir in Hollywood.

In November, three-time NBA MVP Magic Johnson announces that he has HIV and will retire from the Lakers.
DIAGNOSIS: 60,000 | DEATHS: 36,000


The movie "Philadelphia" is released starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. In the drama, a man with AIDS is fired by a conservative law firm because of his condition, so he hires a homophobic lawyer to sue. The film makes more than $77 million at the domestic box office and is nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two.
DIAGNOSIS: 77,000 | DEATHS: 44,000


The rock opera "Rent" opens off-Broadway in New York. The show is an adaption of Puccini's "La Boheme" but replaces the original's tragic illness with HIV. It earns rave reviews, heads to Broadway and goes on to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Elizabeth Glaser, wife of actor Paul Glaser, loses her battle with AIDS, and her Pediatric AIDS Foundation is renamed. Glaser started the children's research foundation after she contracted HIV while giving birth. She unknowingly passed the virus on to her daughter through breast milk and her son Jakein utero.
DIAGNOSIS: 73,000 | DEATHS: 50,000


The Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) is established by the United Nations. It combines experts from six agencies to fight the AIDS epidemic.

At the 11th International AIDS Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, combination antiretroviral treatment is presented for the first time. These drugs are shown to be effective against HIV.
DIAGNOSIS: 61,000 | DEATHS: 39,000


Media outlets report that for the first time since the epidemic began, the AIDS death rate has declined in the U.S. thanks to the success of drug therapies.
DIAGNOSIS: 50,000 | DEATHS: 22,000


The company AIDSvax starts the first human trial of an AIDS vaccine using 5,000 U.S. volunteers.

Doctors in San Francisco start a trial of post-exposure prevention, a method similar to Plan B in that it aims to prevent HIV after possible exposure before the virus takes hold.
DIAGNOSIS: 43,000 | DEATHS: 21,000


Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham report a discovery of HIV-1 in a subspecies of chimpanzee. They believe this to be the source of the virus and theorize that human hunters contracted it when exposed to infected blood.

Initial findings from a joint Uganda-U.S. study identify a new drug regimen as an effective and affordable way to reduce mother-to-baby transmission of the virus.
DIAGNOSIS: 43,000 | DEATHS: 21,000


The Clinton administration declares, for the first time, that AIDS is a threat to national security and to global stability.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson publicly takes an HIV test after the CDC reports that African-American and Hispanic infection rates have overtaken those of white, gay men.
DIAGNOSIS: 42,000 | DEATHS: 21,000


The Associated Press runs a headline saying AIDS and LGBT activist Larry Kramer is dead. He's not. He's still working on his 4,000-page history of the gay community titled "The American People."

UNAIDS marks the 20th anniversary of the first report of HIV. Executive Director Peter Piot says: "At the time, I read the report with great interest, but I never imagined I was looking at the first sign of an epidemic, that in just 20 years would have infected 60 million people, killed 22 million and achieved the status of the most devastating epidemic in human history."
DIAGNOSIS: 42,000 | DEATHS: 21,000


The FDA approves the first rapid HIV test, which produces results in less than 20 minutes. The test uses a finger prick to draw blood.
DIAGNOSIS: 41,000 | DEATHS: 20,000


The FDA approves the first of a new type of anti-HIV drug called Fuzeon (also known as enfuvirtide or T-20). This drug is designed to prevent the entry of HIV into human cells.

The HBO TV miniseries "Angels in America" premieres, starring Al Pacino and Meryl Streep. The miniseries adapts a Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. The plot follows two couples as they struggle to stay together during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. It wins multiple Emmy and SAG awards.
DIAGNOSIS: 42,000 | DEATHS: 20,000


George W. Bush launches PEPFAR, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan to combat AIDS worldwide. "This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally," according to the PEPFAR website.
DIAGNOSIS: 41,000 | DEATHS: 20,000


For the first time, the FDA approves a generic AIDS drug made by a foreign country, allowing PEPFAR to provide cheaper medications overseas. The patent on AZT also reaches an end, allowing more generic versions of the drug.
DIAGNOSIS: 40,000 | DEATHS: 20,000


Singer Bono launches Product Red. Profits from the line of consumer goods are designated to fight the AIDS epidemic worldwide. "I feel a bit of a fraud, a bit of a loser because we are not winning in the war against AIDS," Bono says.

Bill Gates announces he will step down as the head of Microsoft in order to donate his time to the Gates Foundation, the largest private source of funding in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Atripla, the first effective one-a-day pill to treat HIV, is approved in the U.S.
DIAGNOSIS: 39,000 | DEATHS: 20,000


President Obama removes a travel ban preventing HIV-positive people from entering U.S. This leads to the announcement that the International AIDS Conference will be held in the U.S. for the first time in more than 20 years.

Washington's health department reports that D.C. has a higher rate of HIV and AIDS prevalence than West Africa, at 3%.
No HIV/AIDS stats available


A microbicide gel trial, known as CAPRISA 004, shows that the gel reduces the risk of a woman becoming infected with HIV during sex by almost 40%. CAPRISA research scientists Koleka Mlisana, Janet Frohlich, Leila Mansoor and Senge Sibeko, seen here, announce the breakthrough.

A third phase of a PrEP trial reveals that drugs used to treat HIV may also be effective in preventing infection. Subjects taking a once-daily antiretroviral pill were 44% less likely to be HIV positive after male-to-male sex.
No HIV/AIDS stats available


The National Institutes of Health publishes the results of a study that says taking antiretroviral drugs at the onset of HIV leads to a dramatic reduction in HIV transmission to an uninfected heterosexual partner.

"These results represent another significant step forward in HIV prevention and reinforce the importance of people everywhere knowing their HIV status and being linked to services for HIV prevention, care and treatment," CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden says.
No HIV/AIDS stats available

Courtesy : Jacque Wilson and Matt Barringer - CNN ,, FDA, UNAIDS, CDC,,,, New York Times, ACTUP, Washington Post, PEOPLE,

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