POZ - HIV - AIDS Timeline - Milestone in Pandemic - HIV - AIDS

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Milestones in the HIV/AIDS pandemic


• In the June 5 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), CDC reports a rare form of pneumonia in five gay men, which are later determined to be the first published cases of AIDS.

• CDC introduces the term Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, as a replacement for Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID).

• Community-based organization Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York is formed, as is the KS/AIDS Foundation, which later becomes the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

• French researchers isolate a virus, dubbed LAV, that kills CD4 cells in a patient with AIDS. Along with a similar discovery by U.S. scientists in 1984, involving an isolated virus dubbed HTLV-III, the primary cause of AIDS is confirmed.

• The Advisory Committee of People With AIDS releases The Denver Principles, officially launching the self-empowerment movement among people living with HIV/AIDS.

• San Francisco bathhouses are ordered shut, with similar efforts in other major metropolitan areas.

• With the isolation of HIV, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts vaccine by 1990.

• FDA approves the first HIV antibody test, and blood banks begin screening for HIV.

• First International AIDS Conference is held in Atlanta, with AIDS reported in 51 nations.

The Normal Heart debuts in New York; a revival opens on Broadway in 2011.

• The American Foundation for AIDS Research—now amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research—is founded.

Ryan White, an Indiana teenager with AIDS, is barred from school, a case of stigma and discrimination that garners international media attention.

• Rock Hudson, classic Hollywood actor, dies.


• The International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses drops the names LAV and HTLV-III and officially adopts HIV as the name of the virus that causes AIDS.

• Early results from a clinical trial suggest Retrovir (zidovudine, AZT) is effective for people with AIDS.

• The U.S. Surgeon General publishes his first report on AIDS, the government's first major statement on what the nation should do to prevent the spread of HIV.

• The first antiretroviral drug, Retrovir, is approved by the FDA.

• ACT UP is founded in New York.

• The AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for first time.

• President Ronald Reagan mentions the word "AIDS" in public for the first time.

• The World Health Organization (WHO) declares the first World AIDS Day on December 1.

• FDA approves Videx (didanosine, ddI) and allows people with life-threatening diseases to import unapproved drugs.

• The Office of the U.S. Surgeon General mails a booklet, Understanding AIDS, to every household in the United States—nearly 107 million copies.

• First needle exchange programs established in New York City and San Francisco, as well as Tacoma, WA.

• Activists work with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Anthony Fauci to endorse "parallel track," whereby people living with HIV/AIDS who don't qualify for clinical trials can access experimental treatments.

• FDA approves ganciclovir for CMV and aerosolized pentamidine for PCP.

• AZT becomes the first drug approved for children.

• The Americans with Disabilities Act is enacted, barring discrimination against people with disabilities, including people living with HIV/AIDS.

• Ryan White CARE Act is passed, providing federal funding for AIDS care.

• Basketball legend Magic Johnson reveals he is HIV positive.

• Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) Act is enacted, providing state funds to support housing for those living with the virus.

• The red ribbon makes its debut.

• International AIDS Conference is moved from Boston to Amsterdam in protest over the U.S. ban on HIV-positive immigrants.

• Freddie Mercury, legendary frontman for the rock band Queen, dies.


• AIDS becomes No. 1 cause of death for men in U.S. between ages 25 to 44.

• Both Democratic and Republican national conventions feature speakers living with HIV.

• Hivid (zalcitabine, ddC) approved by FDA.

• President Bill Clinton creates the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

• CDC expands its definition of AIDS to include HIV-positive people with fewer than 200 CD4 cells; cervical cancer included as an AIDS-defining cancer.

Angels in America wins both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize.

POZ magazine launches.

• U.S. Public Health Service recommends AZT during pregnancy, after a study a shows 70 percent reduction in HIV transmission rate.

• FDA approves Zerit (stavudine, d4T).

• AIDS becomes No. 1 cause of death for men and women in U.S. between ages 25 to 44.

• The first protease inhibitor, saquinavir, is approved in record time. The FDA also approves Epivir (lamivudine, 3TC).

• The Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) is created.

• At the 11th International AIDS Conference, numerous studies highlight the lifesaving potential of combination therapy. Renowned researcher David Ho also suggests drug combos may cure HIV with just a few years of treatment.

• The first non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, Viramune (nevirapine), is approved by the FDA, as are the first viral load test and the protease inhibitors Crixivan (indinavir) and Norvir (ritonavir).

• The number of new AIDS cases declines for the first time in the history of the U.S. epidemic.

• Number of AIDS deaths continues to fall, whereas reports of treatment combo side effects and adherence problems are on the rise.

• FDA approves first multiple-drug tablet: Combivir, containing Retrovir and Epivir.

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues first set of federal HIV treatment guidelines.

• At the 12th International AIDS Conference, attention focuses on the need for treatment access in developing nations. Treatment Action Campaign is formed in South Africa.

• Scientists map out the likely cause of HIV: A form of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) from the common chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, which likely entered human populations earlier in the 20th century, probably as a result of the bush meat trade.

• AIDS becomes No. 4 cause of death worldwide.

• AIDSmeds launches.

• AIDS is the No. 1 cause of death in Africa.

• U.S. and U.N. declare AIDS national security risks.

• UNAIDS, WHO and other groups strike deals with major pharmaceutical companies to provide reduced-cost treatment in developing world.

• HIV drug resistance testing becomes standard-of-care to help people living with HIV make better treatment decisions.

• First Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the U.S.

• Generic manufacturers begin providing large-scale, low-cost access to HIV meds in developing world.

• The first U.N. General Assembly on AIDS, or UNGASS, is convened.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is launched.

• UNAIDS reports that women make up half of all adults living with HIV worldwide. HIV is also found to be leading cause of death worldwide among men and women 15 to 59 years of age.

• OraQuick Rapid HIV test is approved, allowing HIV antibody testing in as little as 20 minutes using blood from a finger prick.

• The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, is launched by President George W. Bush.

• First National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in U.S.

• Major vaccine trials, started several years earlier, report poor results.

• FDA approves Fuzeon (enfuvirtide), the first HIV fusion inhibitor.

• PEPFAR begins first round of funding.

• First saliva-based rapid HIV test approved.

• AIDSmeds founder Peter Staley launches crystal meth ad campaign in New York City, leading to national dialogue and awareness about the various risks of the drug, including HIV transmission.

POZ Personals launches.

• CDC releases post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, guidelines for possible sexual exposure to HIV.

• A rapidly progressive, multiple-drug-resistant strain of HIV is transmitted in New York City, setting off fears of a super virus.

• Atripla approved as first one-pill-a-day HIV med.

• First integrase inhibitor, Isentress (raltegravir), approved by FDA. The agency also approves its first entry inhibitor, the CCR5 blocker Selzentry (maraviroc).

• CDC revises estimates of new HIV infections in the U.S. to more than 56,000 a year—substantially higher than the previous estimate of 40,000 annual new infections.

• U.S. Congress reauthorizes PEPFAR for five years, while also voting to end the HIV travel and immigration ban.

• The U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI) is launched by President Barack Obama, which includes PEPFAR and additional funds for other diseases.

• President Barack Obama calls for the U.S. to develop its first National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

• U.S. Congress eliminates long-standing ban on the use of federal funds for needle exchange programs.

• U.S. HIV travel ban officially ends.

• The White House unveils the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

• "The Berlin Patient"—a man living with HIV who underwent a transplant involving HIV-resistant stem cells in 2007 for the treatment of leukemia—is classified as cured of his HIV.

• On June 5, the world commemorates 30 years of AIDS.

• The XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) was held in Washington, DC, in July. It was the first time since 1990 that it had been held in the United States in honor of the lifting of the ban on HIV-positive travelers.

• The AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed in its entirety in Washington, DC, in July during AIDS 2012. It was last displayed in full in 1996.

Mississippi Baby becomes the first documented case of an infant “functionally cured” of HIV.


• Report shows viral suppression may bring HIV transmission risk close to zero.

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