Years Of Aids: A Timeline Of The Epidemic
Over the past four decades, UCSF has led the way in its heroic and committed response to the AIDS epidemic, both locally and globally. This timeline covers some of the highlights over the past 40 years at UCSF, in the nation and around the world after a mysterious outbreak affecting gay men was first reported on June 5, 1981.
Hiv Arrived In The Us Long Before Patient Zero
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In the tortuous mythology of the AIDS epidemic, one legend never seems to die: Patient Zero, a.k.a. Gaétan Dugas, a globe-trotting, sexually insatiable French Canadian flight attendant who supposedly picked up H.I.V. in Haiti or Africa and spread it to dozens, even hundreds, of men before his death in 1984.
Mr. Dugas was once blamed for setting off the entire American AIDS epidemic, which traumatized the nation in the 1980s and has since killed more than 500,000 Americans. The New York Post even described him with the headline The Man Who Gave Us AIDS.
But after a new genetic analysis of stored blood samples, bolstered by some intriguing historical detective work, scientists on Wednesday .
The strain of H.I.V. responsible for almost all AIDS cases in the United States, which was carried from Zaire to Haiti around 1967, spread from there to New York City around 1971, researchers concluded in the journal Nature. From New York, it spread to San Francisco around 1976.
The new analysis shows that Mr. Dugass blood, sampled in 1983, contained a viral strain already infecting men in New York before he began visiting gay bars in the city after being hired by Air Canada in 1974.
Hiv/aids In The United States
The AIDS epidemic, caused by HIV , found its way to the United States between the 1970s and 1980s, but was first noticed after doctors discovered clusters of Kaposi’s sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia in homosexual men in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco in 1981.Treatment of HIV/AIDS is primarily via the use of multiple antiretroviral drugs, and education programs to help people avoid infection.
Initially, infected foreign nationals were turned back at the United States border to help prevent additional infections. The number of United States deaths from AIDS has declined sharply since the early years of the disease’s presentation domestically. In the United States in 2016, 1.1 million people aged over 13 lived with an HIV infection, of whom 14% were unaware of their infection.Gay and bisexual men, African Americans, and Latino Americans remain disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in the United States.
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An Estimated 40 Million People Are Living With Hiv Worldwide About 10 Million Of Them Do Not Have Access To Treatment
- A New Shot: An injection every two months rather than a daily pill could shield many more women from H.I.V., but the shot is unavailable in places that need it most.
- Pandemic Setbacks: Before Covid-19, the world had been making strides against global illnesses like H.I.V. The pandemic has changed that for the worse.
- A Visionary: Ravindra Gupta led the efforts that resulted in the second case of a patient being cured of H.I.V. Then he was drawn into Covid research.
- A Promising Treatment: In 2022, researchers announced that a woman became the third person ever to be cured of H.I.V. thanks to a new transplant method that could help more people from racially diverse backgrounds.
The new data is consistent with the scenario described in 2011 in The Origins of AIDS, by Dr. Jacques Pépin, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec.
Relying on previous genetic research and African colonial records, Dr. Pépin showed that H.I.V. was carried from Kinshasa to Haiti in the 1960s most likely by one of the thousands of Haitian civil servants recruited by the United Nations to work in the former Belgian Congo after colonial rule collapsed.
In Haiti, he theorized, a few cases were multiplied by unsterile conditions at a private blood-collecting company, Hemo-Caribbean, that opened in 1971 and exported 1,600 gallons of plasma to the United States monthly. Plasma clotting factors were used by American hemophiliacs, many of whom died of AIDS.
Prevention: The Best Strategy
Even before CDC was designated in 1986 as the lead federal agency to inform and educate Americans about AIDS, the agency worked with uncommon flexibility with state and local public health agencies and community-based organizations to reach people most at risk. Science-based guidelines were translated into messages for target groups about how to make healthy choices, and how to prevent the spread of the disease. Other campaigns were designed to fight against stigma and fear by informing people about the nature of the disease, teaching tolerance and compassion for those who were HIV positive.
Displayed here are a set of slides from the HIV/AIDS Library and Narrative used by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services in 1989 to train community-based AIDS service organizations. Furthermore, since testing became available in 1985, CDC began providing federal funds to establish an extensive system of alternate testing and counseling sites, leading to the first nationwide HIV- and AIDS-related prevention program. Today, testingknowing ones HIV statusis a key strategy in AIDS prevention.
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Why Do Some People Say Hiv Started In The Usa In The 1980s
Because this is when people first became aware of HIV, and it was when HIV was officially recognised as a new health condition. But HIV had actually been around for decades by then.
In 1981, rare diseases, such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma and a lung infection called PCP, were being reported among gay men in New York and California. Scientists began to suspect that an unidentified infectious ‘disease’ was the cause.
At first, the disease was called all sorts of names relating to the word gay’. It wasn’t until mid-1982 that scientists realised it was also spreading among other populations, such as haemophiliacs and people who inject drugs. In September that year, they named it Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome .
In 1983, scientists at the Pasteur Institute in France identified the virus linked to AIDS, which they called Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus . Scientists at the USA National Cancer Institute confirmed this virus was the cause of AIDS and called it HTLV-III. LAV and HTLV-III were later acknowledged to be the same. A few years later, the virus was renamed as HIV.
Hiv/aids: 40 Years Tackling An Epidemic That Has Marked Humanity
Throughout its 120 years of existence, PAHO has played a leading role in the response to epidemics in the region, including HIV/AIDS. Here are some of the important milestones, as well as the challenges that must be overcome to end AIDS.
Aaron Zea is 32 years old, a manager in the cultural sector, a cyclist who plays soccer every week and lives with HIV. “For me living with HIV is very peaceful because I know that I can have a normal life, play sports and go to university. Im not going to die from this, said Aaron, speaking from his home in Medellín, Colombia. In nine years of living with the virus, he knows what he needs to do to stay healthy – “look after my body, eat well, go to my check-ups and take my medications”.
Today, treatment for HIV is effective and simple and generally consists of a single pill a day, with little to no adverse effects. However, this was not the case for people infected with HIV when Aaron was born in 1990, let alone in 1981, when the first cases of atypical pneumonia were diagnosed in gay men in San Francisco in the United States – something that would forever mark the lives of mankind.
New treatments have turned HIV infection into a chronic disease, and reduced mortality by 28% since 2010 in Latin America. However, this reduction remains below the global average due to huge advances in prevention, early detection, and the rapid initiation of treatment in Africa.
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Is There Only One Type Of Hiv
No, there are actually two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2, and they have slightly different origins.
HIV-1 is closely related to the strain of SIV found in chimps. While HIV-2 is closely related to the strain of SIV found in sooty mangabeys monkeys. The crossover of HIV-2 to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way as HIV-1 .
HIV-2 is far more rare, and less infectious than HIV-1, so it infects far fewer people. It is mainly found in a few West African countries, such as Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
To complicate things further, HIV is also classified by four main groups of viral strain , each of which has different genetic make-up. HIV-1 Group M is the strain that has caused the majority of HIV infections in the world today, meaning it is the dominant strain.
Stigma: Educating A Nation
The first year of the AIDS epidemic seemed isolated to a few individuals in a few cities, so it received little media attention. When cases were reported in infants and people with hemophilia, widespread panic struck Americans. Those with AIDS were often stigmatized. In 1985, Ryan White, a teenage hemophiliac living in Indiana, contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion. Parents in his community feared he would expose their children to AIDS, resulting in Ryan being barred from attending school.
In 1986, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued the Surgeon Generals Report on AIDS. In it, he called for a comprehensive program of sex and AIDS education, urged the widespread use of condoms, and dispelled myths that HIV could be spread by mosquitoes. In 1987, CDC launched an unprecedented national campaign, America Responds to AIDS . The goal of ARTA was to increase awareness and understanding of AIDS, to prevent HIV infection, and to encourage people to seek more information and counseling. CDC also began a program to support HIV prevention efforts with national minority organizations that provided HIV prevention expertise to community-based organizations, developed HIV prevention programs targeting minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanics, and supported groups that used culturally sensitive AIDS prevention programs to address their communities needs.
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How Act Up Changed America
One day in June, 1990, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, I sat in the auditorium of San Franciscos Moscone Center and watched as hundreds of activists pelted Louis W. Sullivan, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, with condoms. Sullivan had been attempting to deliver the closing address at the 6th International AIDS Conference. The protesters, from the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, were there to stop him. Shouts of shame, shame, shame were accompanied by whistles and air horns. Like many people who were in the audience that dayI was there as a Washington Post reporterI remember everything about the speech except what Sullivan said. Which was exactly what ACT UP wanted. The group had been formed to force a negligent government to take AIDS seriously. Not every federal official came under attack that day. Just an hour earlier, Anthony S. Fauci, the countrys chief AIDS scientist, had received a standing ovation after he essentially endorsed the protesters agenda, warning his colleagues that they cannot and should not dismiss activists merely on the basis of the fact that they are not trained scientists.
Vito Russo, another ACT UP stalwart, is best known for The Celluloid Closet, his 1981 book about homosexuality and homophobia in film. In 1988, Russo delivered a spellbinding speech, in Albany, called Why We Fight. As Russo told a crowd, he had AIDS, but that wasnt what was killing him:
The First World Aids Day
At the beginning of the 1980s, before HIV had been identified as the cause of AIDS, the infection was thought to only affect specific groups, such as gay men in developed countries and people who inject drugs. The HIV virus was first isolated by Dr Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Dr Luc Montagnier in 1983 at the Institut Pasteur. In November that year, WHO held the first meeting to assess the global AIDS situation and initiated international surveillance. It was then that the global health community understood that HIV could also spread between heterosexual people, through blood transfusions, and that infected mothers could transmit HIV to their babies.
United Nations commemorative stamp to raise awareness of HIV and the AIDS epidemic
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Risk Factors Contributing To The Black Hiv Rate
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Access to healthcare is very important in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS. It can be affected by health insurance which is available to people through private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid which leaves some people still vulnerable. Historically, African-Americans have faced discrimination when it comes to receiving healthcare.
Homosexuality is viewed negatively in the African-American Community. “In a qualitative study of 745 racially and ethnic diverse undergraduates attending a large Midwestern university, Calzo and Ward determined that parents of African-American participants discussed homosexuality more frequently than the parents of other respondents. In analyses of the values communicated, Calzo and Ward reported that Black parents offered greater indication that homosexuality is perverse and unnatural”.
The Road To Treatment For All
Until the first half of the 1990s, the drugs available to treat HIV were not effective in controlling the virus. Their cost was prohibitive for many , and public health programs continued to focus on prevention and treatment of the various secondary infections affecting AIDS patients.
Brazil and Argentina were the first countries in Latin America to provide free treatment. But this did not happen immediately in the rest of the countries in the region. However, thanks to the work of activists, and individuals that pursued legal action, many other governments soon began to provide the drugs free of charge through their public health programs.
During the World AIDS Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 1996, a highly active antiretroviral therapy, or cocktail, was presented. This marked a turning point in treatment, making it possible to prevent the virus from replicating, recover CD4 lymphocytes that fight infection, reduce hospitalizations and improve survival.
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Impact On Communities Of Color
- Racial and ethnic minorities have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic, and represent the majority of new HIV diagnoses, people living with HIV disease, and deaths among people with HIV.36,37
- Black and Latino people account for a disproportionate share of new HIV diagnoses, relative to their size in the U.S. population .38,39 Black people also account for more people living with HIV than any other racial group â an estimated 479,300 of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. are black.40
- Black people also have the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses, followed by Latino people â in 2019, the rate of new HIV diagnoses per 100,000 for Black people was about 8 times that of white people Latino people had a rate 4 times that of white people.41
- Black people accounted for close to half of deaths among people with an HIV diagnosis in 2019.42,43
- Survival after an AIDS diagnosis is lower for Black people than for most other racial/ethnic groups, and Black people have had the highest age-adjusted death rate due to HIV disease throughout most of the epidemic.44 HIV ranks higher as a cause of death for Black and Latino people, compared with White people.45 Further, HIV was the 6th leading cause of death for Black people ages 25-34 in 2019.46
Where Did Aids Come From
Scientists have traced the origin of HIV back to chimpanzees and simian immunodeficiency virus , an HIV-like virus that attacks the immune system of monkeys and apes.
In 1999, researchers identified a strain of chimpanzee SIV called SIVcpz, which was nearly identical to HIV. Chimps, the scientist later discovered, hunt and eat two smaller species of monkeysred-capped mangabeys and greater spot-nosed monkeysthat carry and infect the chimps with two strains of SIV. These two strains likely combined to form SIVcpz, which can spread between chimpanzees and humans.
SIVcpz likely jumped to humans when hunters in Africa ate infected chimps, or the chimps infected blood got into the cuts or wounds of hunters. Researchers believe the first transmission of SIV to HIV in humans that then led to the global pandemic occurred in 1920 in Kinshasa, the capital and largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The virus spread may have spread from Kinshasa along infrastructure routes via migrants and the sex trade.
In the 1960s, HIV spread from Africa to Haiti and the Caribbean when Haitian professionals in the colonial Democratic Republic of Congo returned home. The virus then moved from the Caribbean to New York City around 1970 and then to San Francisco later in the decade.
International travel from the United States helped the virus spread across the rest of the globe.
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Unresolved Questions About Hiv Origins And Emergence
The discovery of the main HIV/SIV phylogenetic relationships permits explaining broad HIV biogeography: the early centres of the HIV-1 groups were in Central Africa, where the primate reservoirs of the related SIVcpz and SIVgor viruses exist similarly, the HIV-2 groups had their centres in West Africa, where sooty mangabeys, which harbour the related SIVsmm virus, exist. However, these relationships do not explain more detailed patterns of biogeography, such as why epidemic HIV-2 groups only evolved in the Ivory Coast, which is one of only six countries harbouring the sooty mangabey. It is also unclear why the SIVcpz endemic in the chimpanzee subspecies Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii did not spawn an epidemic HIV-1 strain to humans, while the Democratic Republic of Congo was the main centre of HIV-1 group M, a virus descended from SIVcpz strains of a subspecies that does not exist in this country. It is clear that the several HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains descend from SIVcpz, SIVgor, and SIVsmm viruses, and that bushmeat practice provides the most plausible cause of cross-species transfer to humans. However, some loose ends remain.
It is not yet explained why only four HIV groups spread considerably in human populations, despite bushmeat practices being widespread in Central and West Africa, and the resulting human SIV infections being common.