- A brief HIV/AIDS timeline
• 1981: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article about several cases of a rare lung infection among healthy gay men in Los Angeles. Within days, they began receiving calls from New York, San Francisco, and elsewhere in California about similar opportunistic infections and a rare form of cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma.
• 1982: The first community-based research and support groups formed in New York and San Francisco. The first cases of AIDS from blood transfusions came to light, in infants and people with hemophilia.
• 1983: AIDS cases were discovered in the Haitian community and among intravenous drug users. The CDC began narrowing down that the virus is transmitted through blood and sexual activity.
• 1984: Teams of doctors in Paris, Maryland and San Francisco independently isolated HIV as the virus that causes AIDS.
• 1987: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AZT, the first antiretroviral drug.
• 1995: The number of reported AIDS cases in the U.S. reached 500,000.
• 1996: The number of new diagnoses declined for the first time in the U.S. since the epidemic began. The FDA approved a home testing kit and the first non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor.
• 1997: AIDS-related deaths declined by 47 percent as the use of the HAART medication cocktail becomes more widespread.
• 2002: The FDA approved a diagnostic test kit that could offer rapid results in only 20 minutes.
• 2007: An American HIV patient in Berlin became the first person considered cured of HIV after undergoing a stem-cell transplant procedure used to treat leukemia. The “Berlin patient” suffered side effects that meant the procedure should not be performed in others with HIV; a similar procedure showed good results, but the two recipients became HIV-positive again after treatment was completed.
• Today: There is no cure for AIDS, but current treatments can reduce HIV to undetectable levels.
For a more detailed and complete timeline, visit www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/aids-timeline/
— News-Sentinel staff
Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 11:05 pm
In the 1980s and early 1990s, an HIV diagnosis could be devastating. Until the approval of AZT in 1987, there was no effective treatment for the immune system-destroying virus. Without treatment, HIV is almost always fatal.
Nowadays, though, HIV is not the death sentence it was 30 years ago, thanks to major improvements in treatment.
Friday, March 10, 2017 11:05 pm.