HIV/AIDS Milestones

While 1981 is generally referred to as the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, scientists believe that HIV was present years before the first case was brought to public attention.

U.S. CDC formally establishes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The U.S. Public Health Service issues recommendations for preventing transmission of HIV through sexual conduct and blood transfusions.

HIV the virus isolated by Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute and Robert Gallo of the National Cancer Institute; later named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Ryan White, an Indiana teenager with AIDS, is barred from school; goes on to speak out publicly about AIDS stigma and discrimination.

President Reagan mentions the word AIDS in public. Ricky Ray, a nine year old hemophiliac with HIV is barred from Florida school and his home is burned by arsonists the following year.

On March 19, FDA approved AZT – the first drug approved for the treatment of AIDS.U.S. Congress approves $30 million in emergency funding to states for AZT.

December 1st, Worlds AIDS Day first declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). The UNAIDS reports that the number of women living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa exceeds that of men.

First guidelines for the prevention of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), an AIDS related opportunistic infection and major cause of morbidity and mortality for people with HIV, are issued by U.S. CDC. FDA licensed the first diagnostic kit to detect the presence of HIV-1 by directly detecting the proteins, or antigens, of the virus.

On April 8th Ryan White dies at age 18 and on April 9th Congress passes the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act. This federal legislation addresses the unmet health needs of persons living with HIV disease by funding primary health care and support services. In first year it is funded $220.5 million.

NBA legend “Magic” Johnson announces that he is HIV-positive and retires from basketball. The Red ribbon is introduced as the international symbol of AIDS at the Tony Awards. The first combination test to detect HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies was licensed by FDA to Genetic Systems.

On May 27, FDA licensed SUDS HIV-1, a ten minute diagnostic test kit which can be used by health professionals to detect the presence of HIV-1. Ricky Ray dies at the age of 15. AIDS becomes number one cause of death for U.S. men ages 24 to 44.

President Clinton establishes White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). First annual “AIDSWatch” – hundreds of community members from across the U.S. converged in Washington, DC to lobby Congress for increased AIDS funding.

AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for all Americans ages 25 to 44; remains so through 1995. The U. Public Health Service recommends use of AZT by pregnant women to reduce prenatal transmission of HIV.

First protease inhibitor, saquinavir, is approved in record time by the U.S. FDA, ushering in a new era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). President Clinton establishes Presidential Advisory Council on AIDS, and has the First White House Conference on HIV/AIDS.

HIV is no longer the leading cause of death for all Americans ages 24 – 44; remains leading cause for African Americans in this age group. On May 14, FDA approved the first HIV test system that can be used at home and can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC).

AIDS related deaths in the U.S. declines by more than 40 percent compared to the prior year, largely due to HAART. President Clinton announces goal of finding an effective vaccine in 10 years.

Despite earlier optimism, several reports indicate growing signs of treatment failure and side effects in HARRT.

President Clinton announces “Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidmenic (LIFE) Iniatitive to address the global epidemic; leads to increased funding. First human vaccine trial in a developing country begins in Thailand.

President Clinton issues Executive Order to assist developing countries in importing and producing generic forms of HIV treatments

United Nations convenes first ever special session on AIDS. Generic drug manufacturers offer to produce discounted, generic forms of HIV/AIDS drugs; several major pharmaceutical manufacturers agree to offer further reduced prices in developing countries.

The U.N.-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is created. HIV is leading cause of death worldwide, among those aged 15 – 59.

President Bush announces PEPFAR, The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. PEPFAR is a five year, $15 billion dollar initiative to address HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria primarily in hard hit countries. The FDA approves Fuzeon, the first HIV entry inhibitor.

UNAID launches Global Coalition on Women and AIDS to raise the visibility of the epidemic’s impact on women and girls around the world. A formulation of Videx is the first generic anti-HIV medication approved for U.S. sale.

At historic and unprecedented joint press conference, the WHO, UNAIDS, the U.S. Government and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, announce results of joint effort to increase the availability of antiretroviral drugs in developing countries. An estimated 700,000 people had been reached by the end of 2004. AZT’s patent expires, and four generic versions are approved for the U.S. market.

June 5th marks quarter century since first AIDS case reported. Russia hosts G8 Summit, for first time HIV/AIDS is addressed. U.S. Congress reauthorizes the Ryan White CARE Act for the third time.

President Bush calls on Congress to reauthorize PEPFAR at $30 billion over 5 years. The WHO and UNAIDS issue new guidance recommending “provider initiated” HIV testing in health-care

U.S. Congress reauthorizes PEPFAR for an additional 5 years at up to $48 billion; the Legislation ends the statutory HIV travel and immigration ban.

President Obama launches the Global Health Initiative (GHI), a six year, $63 billion dollar effort to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing global health in low and middle income countries, with PEPFAR as a core component.

Removal of U.S. HIV travel and immigration ban officially begins. Obama Administration releases first comprehensive National/HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States in July.

June 5th marks the 30th anniversary since the first AIDS case was reported. The U.S, CDC releases new HIV incidence estimates for the United States. These new estimates showed that the annual number of new HIV infections was stable overall from 2006 through 2009.

The XIX International Aids Conference to be held in Washington, DC, marking the first time the conference has been held in the United States since 1990.