1981 to 2001
(The figures 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-related diseases among young
gay men. 159
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. 625
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. 2,137
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. 12,652
1987 : The FDA approves the first antire t roviral 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 later becomes the Global Programme on AIDS and then UNAIDS. 4 1,262
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). 62,451
1989 : Ryan White dies. Congress creates the National Commission on AIDS. 90,218
1990 : Domestic and international non-governmental groups boycott the 6th International AIDS Conference in San Francisco in protest of the US immigration policy regarding HIV/AIDS status.Ryan White CARE Act is authorized. 121,952
1991 : S t a r Basketball player, Earvin ‘Magic‘ Johnson, announces that he is HIV-positive. 158,911
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. 200,391
1993 : The FDA approves the female condom for sale in the US. 245,662
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 age 22. 295,339
1995 : The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), an organization that oversees the efforts of seven UN programs focusing on AIDS, is established. 345,331
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 Antiret roviral Therapy (HAART) is presented. 382,261
1997 : AIDS - related deaths in the US decline by more than 40% compared to 1996 rates, largely as a result of antireoviral therapies. 403,206
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. 419,638
1999 : US announces $100 million in funding to sub-Saharan Africa and India through the Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic (LIFE) Initiative. 430,246
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 developing countries. 438,795
2001 : The UN General Assembly, under the leadership of UN Secre t a ry-General Kofi Annan, convenes a special session to discuss HIV/AIDS. Goals that were set include -
- 2002-2010 : Establishing a global AIDS fund with a target of $10 billion per year.
- 2003 : Increasing the availability of medicines for HIV.
- 2004 : Promoting youth‘s access to HIV/AIDS education and involving adolescents in the planning of HIV/AIDS prevention programs.