AIDS Work

Providing help for people with HIV and AIDS

Chronology of HIV/AIDS

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Here is a brief chronology of HIV/AIDS:

1930 – Some time between 1910 and 1950 with 1930 being the most likely date HIV-1 M appears as a unique new retrovirus. There is still much debate as to how HIV first appeared in human hosts.

1959 – The oldest confirmed case of HIV is discovered when a blood sample from a Bantu male who died in 1959 is found to be positive for HIV-1 through immunoassay, immunoflourescence, Western blotting, and radioimmunoprecipitation methods. In the 1985 retesting, Emory and Harvard University scientists used four different procedures on the samples and found one that was positive for HIV. The specimen, which came to be known as ZR59, had been taken from an unidentified African male from the area near Leopoldville (present-day Kinshasa) in 1959.

1978 – Gay men in the US and Sweden begin to show symptoms of what will latter be identified as HIV/AIDS. The first signs of heterosexual HIV/AIDS appear in Haiti and Tanzania.

1981 – Gay cancer (Kaposi’s Sarcoma) latter to be called GRID is noticed in New York and San Francisco. 181 die in the US from what is letter determined to be HIV/AIDS

1982 – The CDC’s Doctor Donald Francis and his team determine that GRID is a blood borne disease agent. 1,201 cases of AIDS and 463 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1983 – The CDC warns blood banks of a potential problem with the nations blood supply. The Pasteur Institute in France isolates the HIV retrovirus. 3,145 cases of AIDS and 1,508 death cases due to AIDS in the US.

1984 – Dr. Robert Gallo claims that he found the virus that leads to AIDS; nevertheless, this is about a year after the French discovery. 9,035 cases of AIDS and 3,502 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1985 – The US FDA sanctions an HIV antibody test. Blood products begin to be tested in the US and Japan. Atlanta hosts the first International Conference on AIDS. 11,990 cases of AIDS and 6,972 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1986 – C. Everett Koop US Surgeon General issues a report calling for sex education to include information on HIV/AIDS. Europe begins to test blood supplies for HIV antibodies.  19,319 cases of AIDS and 12,110 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1987 – Glaxo Wellcome’s drug Zidovudine (AZT) becomes first drug approved by the FDA for treatment of HIV/AIDS. Canada begins testing blood supply. FDA approved the first Western blot blood test kit – a more specific test. FDA Published regulations which require screening all blood and plasma collected in the U.S. for HIV antibodies. The US issues rules denying entrance visa’s to travelers and closes immigration for HIV infected people. After six years of deadly silence US President Ronald Reagan mentions the word AIDS in a public speech for the first time. Vice President George Bush calls for mandatory HIV testing. 28,999 cases of AIDS and 16,412 death cases due to AIDS in the US.

1988 – Surgeon General C. Everett Koop pushes forward the printing and distribution of 107 million copies of a booklet entitled “Understanding AIDS”. Trimetrexate was the first AIDS drug to be granted pre-approval distribution status under the FDA’s new Treatment IND regulations. 35,957 cases of AIDS and 21,119 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1989 – First treatment for PCP (pentamidine mist) is approved for use by the FDA. FDA approved Cytovene (ganciclovir) infusion for use in the treatment of cytomegalovirus retinal infections in persons with AIDS. FDA Licensed the first diagnostic kit to detect the presence of HIV-1 by directly detecting the proteins, or antigens, of the virus. 43,168 cases of AIDS and 27,791 death cases due to AIDS in the US.

1990 – Ex-President Ronald Reagan apologizes for his neglect of the deadly HIV/AIDS epidemic during his presidency. FDA approved Diflucan (fluconazole) tablets to treat two serious AIDS-related fungal infections (Cryptococcal meningitis and candidiasis).  49,069 cases of AIDS and 31,538 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1991 – Bristol Myers Squibb’s anti-retroviral medication Videx (ddI, didanosine) is approved for use in the US. The World Health Organization estimates that there may be as many as 10 million people infected with HIV world wide. A coalition of gay and HIV/AIDS activists campaign for accelerated approval of medications used in the treatment of AIDS and AIDS related illnesses in the US. The CDC estimates that there may be as many as 1 million HIV infected US citizens. 60,124 cases of AIDS and 36,616 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1992 – Roche Labs gains FDA approval for Hivid (ddc, zalcitabine). Combo drug treatment regimens undergo first clinical trials in the US. The US government starts interim licensing (accelerated approval) for medications used to treat AIDS and AIDS related illnesses. 79,054 cases of AIDS and 41,270 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1993 – The definition of AIDS used for reporting purposes by the CDC is modified to include new opportunistic infections. The controversial British-French Concorde study is released to the public, indicating that early use of AZT monotherapy does not delay the onset of AIDS. 79,034 cases of AIDS and 44,896 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1994 – Bristol Myers Squibb’s Zerit (d4t) is approved for us in the US. FDA approved Bactrim and Septra (trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) for a new indication for prophylaxis against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in individuals who are immunosuppressed and considered to be at an increased risk of developing Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. 71,209 cases of AIDS and 49,311 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1995 – For the first time there is a reduction in new AIDS cases compared to the previous year in the US. As a result of combo therapy the rate of growth in death cases due to AIDS also slows for the first time in 1995. In December the first Protease inhibitor class drug Roiche’s Saquinavir (invirase) is approved for use in the US. Glaxo Wellcome gains approval for Epivir (3TC, lamivudine). The US government admits that the discovery of HIV was first accomplished by the Pasteur Institute not Robert Gallo. 66,233 cases of AIDS and 49,897 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1996 – With the first full year of widespread use of HAART death cases due to AIDS and new AIDS cases both are less then the previous year in the US. Crixivan, Norvir, and Viramune approved for use in the US. Researchers show that Kaposi’s sarcoma is most likely caused by the combination of diminished immune function and herpes virus. Dr. David Ho is the name in the news at the Vancouver BC International AIDS conference. 54,656 cases of AIDS and 37,359 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1997 – FDA granted accelerated approval for Viracept (nelfinavir) the first protease inhibitor labeled for use in children, as well as adults. FDA approved Fortovase, a new formulation of Invirase (saquinavir) for the treatment of HIV-1.  New cases of AIDS and death cases due to AIDS continue to decline in the US. The WHO estimates that the total worldwide death count due to AIDS may be 6,400,000. The approximate number of HIV-positive people worldwide is said to be 22,000,000.  There are 31,153 new AIDS cases and 21,437 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1998 – FDA approved Sustiva (efavirenz), DuPont Pharmaceuticals, to treat HIV and AIDS. Ziagen (abacavir) is approved for use in the US. New AIDS cases begin to rise in the US death cases because of AIDS continue to decline. There are 48,269 new AIDS cases and 17,171 death cases because of AIDS in the US.

1999 – Amprenavir is approved for use in the US. Genotype and Phenotype testing see increased use by US physicians in planning treatment for AIDS patients who have shown signs of failure on HAART. The CDC has not released the year end figures for 1999 as of this date.