Over the Years
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.
The virus is 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.
FDA approves AZT, the first drug approved for the treatment of AIDS. U.S. Congress approves $30 million in emergency funding to states for AZT.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declares Dec. 1 as World AIDS Day.
The FDA licensed the first diagnostic kit to detect the presence of HIV-1 by directly detecting the proteins, or antigens, of the virus.
Ryan White dies at age 18 on April 8. The next day, Congress passes the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act to address the unmet health needs of persons living with HIV by funding primary health care and support services. In its first year, it is funded at $220.5 million.
NBA legend “Magic” Johnson announces that he is HIV-positive and retires from basketball and the red ribbon is introduced as the international symbol of AIDS at the Tony Awards.
AIDS becomes the number one cause of death for U.S. men ages 24 to 44 and the FDA licenses a 10-minute diagnostic test kit to detect HIV-1.
President Clinton establishes the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and the first annual “AIDSWatch” is held in Washington, DC to lobby Congress for increased AIDS funding.
First protease inhibitor, saquinavir, is approved in record time by the FDA, ushering in a new era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and President Clinton establishes the Presidential Advisory Council on AIDS.
HIV remains the leading cause of death for for African Americans ages 24-44 and the FDA approves the first HIV test system that can be purchased over-the-counter and used at home.
AIDS-related deaths in the U.S. decline by more than 40 percent compared to the prior year, largely due to HAART. Later, reports indicated signs of treatment failure and side effects in HARRT.
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 and effprts are made to reduce costs of HIV/AIDS drugs.
The U.N.-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is created. HIV is the leading cause of death worldwide among those aged 15–59.
President Bush announces PEPFAR, The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a five-year, $15 billion dollar initiative to address HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria primarily in hard hit countries.
UNAID launches the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS to raise the visibility of the epidemic’s impact on women and girls around the world and the first generic anti-HIV medication is approved for sale in the U.S.
At a historic joint press conference, the WHO, UNAIDS, the U.S. Government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announce results of a joint effort to increase the availability of antiretroviral drugs in developing countries and AZT’s patent expires, with four generic versions approved for the U.S. market.
June 5th marks a quarter century since the first AIDS case was reported.
U.S. Congress reauthorizes PEPFAR for an additional five years at up to $48 billion.
Removal of the U.S. HIV travel and immigration ban officially begins and the Obama administration releases first comprehensive National/HIV/AIDS Strategy for the U.S.
The CDC releases new report demonstrating that the number of new HIV infections has stabilized since 2006.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announces that, thanks to direct PEPFAR support, more than 1 million infants have been born HIV-free since 2003.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) bars insurers from discriminating against customers with pre-existing conditions and imposing annual limits on coverage—both key advances for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The World Health Organization announces two new treatment recommendations that could avert more than 21 million deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030: All people living with HIV should begin antiretroviral therapy as soon after diagnosis as possible and daily oral PrEP as an additional prevention choice for those at substantial risk for contracting HIV.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an estimated 50% of young Americans living with HIV don’t know they are affected, due to inadequate testing of sexually-active high school students.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports significant declines in HIV/AIDS death rates for Black/African Americans between 1999-2015: An 80% drop among those aged 18-34 and a 79% drop among those aged 35-49.
Researchers announce the second case of a person cured of HIV. Similar to the first cure announced in 2007, the treatment—a bone marrow transplant from a donor who is genetically immune to HIV—is determined too dangerous and costly for widespread use, but researchers hail the news as further proof that HIV can be cured.