Sunday, June 5, 2016

35th anniversary of the first mention of AIDS

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the first mass media mention of the disease that would come to be known as AIDS. The June 5, 1981, edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), published by the Centers for Disease Control, included an article entitled, "Pneumocystis Pneumonia --- Los Angeles".

The article described the onset of Pneumocystis pneumonia among five gay men over an eight-month period at three different hospitals in Los Angeles.

The enormity of the tragedy that would become the global HIV/AIDS epidemic was not understood at the time and consequently was not even hinted at in the article. It would be only a matter of time, however, before it became clear that over one million people in the United States as well as millions more across the planet were infected. The mortality rate approached 100%, with no effective therapies available for years.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 5, 1981

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