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24 Years of AIDS 1981 to 2004
The figures in bold following each year’s entry represent the cumulative number of AIDS-related deaths that had occurred in the US from the beginning of the pandemic to the end of that year.
1981: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) diagnoses the first cases of AIDS among young gay men. 151
1982: The CDC formally establishes the term “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)” and identifies four risk factors associated with AIDS: male homosexuality, intravenous drug abuse. Haitian origin and hemophilia A. 604
1983: The CDC adds female sexual partners of men with AIDS as the fifth risk group. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is identified as the cause of AIDS. 2,085
1985: Actor Rock Hudson openly states that he has AIDS and dies later in the year. After being prohibited from attending school because he has AIDS, Indiana teenager Ryan White advocates against discrimination or stigma associated with AIDS. The Food and Drug Administration approves the first HIV antibody test. HIV screening of blood donations begins in US. 12,434
1987: The FDA approves the first antiretroviral medication, zidovudine (AZT), as an AIDS treatment. The AIDS Memorial Quilt is displayed on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The World Health Organization (WHO) establishes the Special Programme on AIDS, which late becomes the Global Programme on AIDS and then UNAIDS. 40,644
1988: WHO declares the first World AIDS Day on December 1.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) establishes the Office of AIDS Research (OAR), restructures its AIDS research program, and establishes the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). 61,566
1989: Ryan White dies. Congress creates the National Commission on AIDS. 89,246
1990: Domestic and international non-governmental groups boycott the 6 th International AIDS Conference in San Francisco in protest of the US immigration policy regarding HIV/AIDS status. Ryan White CARE ACT is authorized. 120,682
1991: Star Basketball player, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, announces that he is HIV-positive. 157,390
1992: AIDS becomes the leading cause of death among men between the ages of 25 and 44. Tennis star Arthur Ashe announces that he has AIDS. 198,814
1993: The FDA approves the female condom for sale in the US. 244,001
1994: AIDS becomes the number one cause of death for all Americans between the ages of 25 to 44. The Public Health Service recommends that HIV-positive pregnant women use AZT to reduce mother-to-child transmission. Pedro Zamora, a young gay man living with AIDS, appears in the cast of MTV’s popular show, The Real World; he dies later this year at 22. 294,072
1995: The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), an organization that oversee the efforts of seven UN programs focusing on AIDS, is established. 344,948
1996: The FDA approves the viral load test, which measures the amount of HIV in blood. The number of new AIDS diagnoses declines for the first time in the history of the pandemic. Evidence of the efficacy of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) is presented. 382,594
1997: AIDS-related deaths in the US decline by more than 40% compared to 1996 rates, largely as a result of antiretroviral therapies. 404,224
1998: The Congressional Black Caucus calls on the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to declare HIV/AIDS a public health emergency. Congress approves $156 million for the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative to address the disproportionate rate of HIV infection in certain racial and ethnic groups. 423,229
1999: US announces $100 million in funding to sub-Saharan Africa and India. 441,683
2000: US and UN Security Councils declare HIV/AIDS a security threat.
President Clinton implements the Millennium Vaccine Initiative to develop vaccines for HIV, TB and malaria. UNAIDS, WHO and other health groups join with pharmaceutical manufacturers to discuss price decreases for AIDS drugs in eveloping countries. 459,030
2001: It is estimated worldwide every hour of every day, almost 600 people are infected and every minute 1 child dies of the virus. 476,432
2002: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) find that mother to infant transmission fell 80% in past decade due to testing of pregnant women and use of antiretrovirals. 492,803
2003: 4 new antiretroviral medications, the most in any single year, are introduced to increase the total number of HIV medications to twenty. The new medications include the first once a day protease inhibitor (atazanavir) and the first fusion inhibitor (enfuviritide). The CDC reports the first increase in new cases of HIV since 1993 with gay men, African Americans, and Latinos most affected.
2004: In the US, an estimated 300,000 patients are co-infected with Hepatitis C and HIV and liver disease has become an important cause of mortality in HIV infected patients. Worldwide an estimated 30 million people have died of AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic and 6 million people are in urgent need or antiretrovirals.
2005: Around 40 million people are infected with AIDS worldwide. A highly resistant strain of HIV linked to rapid progression to AIDS is identified in New York City. CDC recommends anti-retroviral post-exposure prophylaxis for people exposed to HIV from rapes, accidents or occasional unsafe sex or drug use.
2006: The CDC recommends routine HIV screening for adults ages 13 to 64. The world marks the 25th anniversary of the first report of AIDS in the medical literature.
2007: A new class of drugs called integrase inhibitors are approved, which work by stopping the enzyme integrase that allows HIV's DNA to be incorporated into the T-cell's DNA.
2008: Luc Montagnier and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi awarded Nobel Prize in medicine for discovery of HIV. Less than a third of those who need immediate treatment are receiving antiretroviral therapy yet for the first time, global AIDS deaths decline.
2009: Clinical study in Thailand shows a modest protective effect of the ALVAC/AIDSVAX vaccine with a 31% reduction in HIV infections.
2010: Polls show most Americans no longer consider AIDS a major problem. They're wrong. New infections in the US continue to rise. Over half are in men who have sex with men, but 31% are in heterosexuals. African Americans -- 12% of the U.S. population -- get 45% of new HIV infections.
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