In less than 40 years, our knowledge of HIV/AIDS has come leaps and bounds. Below is a brief timeline of important moments in our understanding of HIV/AIDS and our fight against it.

 

1981

June - The Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report. This is widely considered the first report on what would soon become known as the AIDS epidemic. In it, the report described a case of five, previously healthy, gay men, who suddenly began suffering from unusual infections and a compromised immune system.

1982

January - The first American AIDS clinic is established in San Francisco

September - The CDC uses the term AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) for the first time.

1985

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licenses the first commercial blood test to blood banks across the USA.  The Pentagon soon announces that it will begin testing new military recruits for HIV. Anyone who tests positive will not be allowed to enlist.

The CDC releases guidelines to help prevent pregnant, HIV-positive women from passing the disease on to their children.

1990

July - The U.S. Congress passes the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including those who are HIV-positive.

1994

AIDS becomes the leading cause of death among Americans age 25 - 44.

May - The CDC published their Guidelines for Preventing Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Through Transplantation of Human Tissue and Organs.

1998

The CDC reports that African Americans account for nearly 50% of AIDS-related deaths.

October - President Clinton declares AIDS to be a “severe and ongoing health crisis” in African American and Hispanic communities. He pledges to work on reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS in minority communities.

2000

April - President Clinton declares that HIV/AIDS is a threat to U.S. national security.

2003  

U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is created.

2005

January - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants tentative approval to a generic copackaged antiretroviral drug regimen for use under the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

2006

June - It has now been 25 years since the first reported case of AIDS

2011

The public and medical community begin to consider dropping the longstanding ban on transplants of HIV-infected organs.

2013

June - Secretary of State John Kerry announces that PEPFAR helped deliver more than 1 million HIV-free babies since 2003.

2016

The CDC reveals that nearly 50% of young Americans living with HIV don’t know they’re infected.

 

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