Menu

A Timeline of HIV/AIDS

AIDS.gov originally posted this timeline in 2011 to highlight milestones of “30 Years of AIDS.”

Updated with entries through 2015, the timeline reflects the history of the domestic epidemic from its origins in illness, fear, and death to our present, hope-filled years.

Download and share this timeline (PDF 995 KB).

 

1981

  1. On June 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publish a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), describing cases of a rare lung infection, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), in five young, previously healthy, gay men in Los Angeles. All the men have other unusual infections as well, indicating that their immune systems are not working; two have already died by the time the report is published. This edition of the MMWR marks the first official reporting of what will become known as the AIDS epidemic.
  2. On June 5, the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times report on the MMWR. On June 6, the San Francisco Chronicle covers the story. Within days, doctors from across the U.S. flood CDC with reports of similar cases.
  1. In addition to reports of cases of PCP and other opportunistic infections among gay men, CDC also receives reports of a cluster of cases of a rare, and unusually aggressive, cancer, Kaposi’s Sarcoma, among a group of gay men in New York and California. In response, on June 8, CDC establishes a Task Force on Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections (KSOI) to identify risk factors and to develop a case definition for national surveillance.
  2. On July 3, the New York Times reports on cases of Kaposi’s Sarcoma affecting 41 gay men Exit Disclaimer in New York and California.
  3. By year-end, there is a cumulative total of 270 reported cases of severe immune deficiency among gay men, and 121 of those individuals have died.

1982

  1. The City Exit Disclaimer and County Exit Disclaimer of San Francisco, working closely with the Shanti Project Exit Disclaimer and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Exit Disclaimer, develop the “San Francisco Model of Care” which emphasizes home- and community-based services.
  2. In January, the first American AIDS clinic Exit Disclaimer is established in San Francisco.
  3. Gay Men’s Health Crisis Exit Disclaimer, the first community-based AIDS service provider in the U.S., is founded in New York City.
  4. On April 13, U.S. Representative Henry Waxman convenes the first congressional hearings on HIV/AIDS. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that tens of thousands of people may be affected by the disease.
  1. In September, Congressional representatives Henry Waxman and Phillip Burton introduce legislation to allocate $5 million to CDC for surveillance and $10 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for AIDS research.
  2. On September 24, CDC uses the term “AIDS” (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) for the first time, and releases the first case definition of AIDS: “a disease at least moderately predictive of a defect in cell-mediated immunity, occurring in a person with no known case for diminished resistance to that disease.”
  3. On December 10, CDC reports a case of AIDS in an infant who received blood transfusions. The following week, the MMWR reports 22 cases of unexplained immunodeficiency and opportunistic infections in infants.

1983

  1. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) establish the National AIDS Hotline to respond to public inquiries about the disease.
  2. On January 4, CDC hosts a national conference to determine blood bank policy for testing blood for HIV, but participants fail to reach consensus on appropriate action.
  3. On January 7, CDC reports cases of AIDS in female sexual partners of males with AIDS.
  4. In February, Dr. Robert Gallo, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests that a retrovirus probably causes AIDS.
  5. In the March 4 edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), CDC notes that most cases of AIDS have been reported among homosexual men with multiple sexual partners, injection drug users, Haitians, and hemophiliacs. The report suggests that AIDS may be caused by an infectious agent that is transmitted sexually or through exposure to blood or blood products and issues recommendations for preventing transmission.
  6. In May, the U.S. Congress passes the first bill that includes funding specifically targeted for AIDS research and treatment—$12 million for agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  7. On May 20, Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and her colleagues at the Pasteur Institute Exit Disclaimer in France, report the discovery of a retrovirus named Lymphadenopathy Associated Virus (LAV) that could be the cause of AIDS.
  1. In June, people living with AIDS (PLWAs) take over the plenary stage at the Second National AIDS Forum in Denver, and issue a statement on the right of PLWAs to be at the table when policy is made, to be treated with dignity, and to be called “people with AIDS,” not “AIDS victims.” The statement becomes known as “The Denver Principles,” and it serves as the charter for the founding of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA).
  2. On July 25, San Francisco General Hospital Exit Disclaimer opens the first dedicated AIDS ward in the U.S. It is fully occupied within days.
  3. On September 2, in response to concerns about transmission of AIDS in healthcare settings, CDC publishes the first set of occupational exposure precautions for healthcare workers and allied health professionals.
  4. In the September 9 MMWR, CDC identifies all major routes of HIV transmission—and rules out transmission by casual contact, food, water, air, or environmental surfaces.
  5. In October, the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO) holds its first meeting to assess the global AIDS situation, and begins international surveillance.
  6. After a New York doctor is threatened with eviction from his building for treating AIDS patients, Gay Men’s Health Crisis Exit Disclaimer (GMHC) and Lambda Legal Exit Disclaimer file the first AIDS discrimination lawsuit.
  7. In November, Dr. Robert Gallo’s lab grows the AIDS virus in immune system cells.
  8. On December 6, a congressional subcommittee releases The Federal Response to AIDS, a report criticizing the U.S. Government for failure to invest sufficient funding in AIDS surveillance and research.

1984

  1. Community-based AIDS service organizations join together to form AIDS Action, a national organization in Washington, DC, to advocate on behalf of people and communities affected by the epidemic, to educate the Federal government, and to help shape AIDS-related policy and legislation.
  2. On April 23, Margaret Heckler, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announces that Dr. Robert Gallo and his colleagues at the National Cancer Institute have found the cause of AIDS, the retrovirus HTLV-III. She also announces the development of a diagnostic blood test to identify HTLV-III and expresses hope that a vaccine against AIDS will be produced within two years.
  1. In June, Dr. Gallo and Professor Luc Montagnier, from the Pasteur Institute Exit Disclaimer in France, hold a joint press conference to announce that Dr. Montagnier’s Lymphadenopathy Associated Virus (LAV) and Dr. Gallo’s HTLV-III virus are almost certainly identical and are the likely cause of AIDS.
  2. On July 13, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that avoiding injection drug use and reducing needle-sharing “should also be effective in preventing transmission of the virus.”
  3. In October, San Francisco officials order bathhouses closed due to high-risk sexual activity occurring in these venues. New York and Los Angeles follow suit within the year.

1985

  1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licenses the first commercial blood test, ELISA, to detect antibodies to HIV in the blood. Blood banks begin screening the U.S. blood supply.
  2. The U.S. Congress allocates $70 million for AIDS research.
  3. The Pentagon announces that it will begin testing all new military recruits for HIV infection and will reject those who test positive for the virus.
  4. Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who contracted AIDS through contaminated blood products used to treat his hemophilia, is refused entry to his middle school. He goes on to speak publicly against AIDS stigma and discrimination.
  5. On January 11, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revise the AIDS case definition to note that AIDS is caused by a newly identified virus and issue provisional guidelines for blood screening.
  1. On April 15-17, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO) host the first International AIDS Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
  2. On September 17, President Ronald Reagan mentions AIDS publicly for the first time, vowing in a letter to Congress to make AIDS a priority.
  3. Actor Rock Hudson dies of AIDS-related illness on October 2. Hudson leaves $250,000 to help set up the American Foundation for AIDS research Exit Disclaimer (amfAR). Elizabeth Taylor serves as the founding National Chairman.
  4. On December 6, the U.S. Public Health Service issues the first recommendations for preventing HIV transmission from mother to child.
  5. At least one HIV case has been reported from each region of the world. (PDF 49 KB)

1986

  1. The National Academy of Sciences Exit Disclaimer issues a report critical of the U.S. response to a “national health crisis.” The report calls for a U.S. $2 billion investment. An Institute of Medicine Exit Disclaimer report calls for a national education campaign and for creating a National Commission on AIDS.
  2. AIDS activist Cleve Jones creates the first panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt Exit Disclaimer.
  3. In May, the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses Exit Disclaimer declares that the virus that causes AIDS will officially be known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
  1. On October 22, U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, issues the Surgeon General’s Report on AIDS (PDF, 1.98 MB). The report urges parents and schools to start frank, open discussions about AIDS and urges education and condom use.
  2. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Exit Disclaimer creates the “AIDS Health Services Program Exit Disclaimer” (PDF 127KB), providing joint funding with the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for demonstration projects in hard-hit U.S. cities. This program serves as a precursor to the Ryan White CARE Act.
  3. The International Steering Committee for People with HIV/AIDS is created. Six years later, this will become the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS Exit Disclaimer.
  4. The National Minority AIDS Council Exit Disclaimer (NMAC) is formed.

1987

  1. In February, the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO) launches The Global Program on AIDS to: raise awareness; formulate evidence-based policies; provide technical and financial support to countries; initiate relevant social, behavioral, and biomedical research; promote participation by nongovernmental organizations; and champion the rights of those living with HIV.
  2. Emmy-award winning pianist, Liberace, dies of AIDS-related illness on February 4.
  3. On March 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the first antiretroviral drug, zidovudine (AZT). The U.S. Congress approves $30 million in emergency funding to states for AZT—laying the groundwork for what will be the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), authorized by the Ryan White CARE Act in 1990.
  4. In March, playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer founds the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power Exit Disclaimer (ACT UP) in New York City.
  5. In April, FDA approves the Western blot blood test kit, a more specific test for HIV antibodies.
  6. In May, FDA creates a new class of experimental drugs, Treatment Investigational New Drugs, which accelerates drug approval by 2-3 years.
  7. On May 16, the U.S. Public Health Service adds HIV as a “dangerous contagious disease” to its immigration exclusion list and mandates testing for all visa applicants.
  8. On May 31, President Reagan makes his first public speech about AIDS and establishes a Presidential Commission on HIV.
  9. In July, the U.S. Congress adopts the Helms Amendment, which bans the use of Federal funds for AIDS education materials that “promote or encourage, directly or indirectly, homosexual activities.”
  1. In August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hold the first National Conference on HIV and Communities of Color in New York.
  2. After Florida’s Desoto County School Board refuses to allow HIV-positive brothers, Ricky, Robert, and Randy Ray to attend school, a Federal judge orders the board to reinstate the three hemophiliacs, who contracted HIV through contaminated blood products. After the August 5 ruling, outraged town residents refuse to allow their children to attend school, and someone sets fire to the Ray house on August 28, destroying it.
  3. On August 14, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issue Perspectives in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Public Health Service Guidelines for Counseling and Antibody Testing to Prevent HIV Infection and AIDS.
  4. On August 18, FDA sanctions the first human testing of a candidate vaccine against HIV.
  5. In October, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The display features 1,920 4x8 panels and draws half a million visitors.
  6. In October, AIDS becomes the first disease ever debated on the floor of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Exit Disclaimer. The General Assembly resolves to mobilize the entire UN system in the worldwide struggle against AIDS and designates the WHO to lead the effort.
  7. FDA declares HIV prevention as a new indication for male condoms.
  8. Journalist Randy Shilts’ book about the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic, is published.
  9. CDC launches the first AIDS-related public service announcements, “America Responds to AIDS.”

1988

  1. The World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO) declares December 1 to be the first World AIDS Day.
  2. The Health Omnibus Programs Extension (HOPE) Act authorizes the use of Federal funds for AIDS prevention, education, and testing.
  3. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) establish the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Exit Disclaimer (ACTG).
  4. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the importation of unapproved drugs for persons with life-threatening illnesses, including HIV/AIDS.
  5. Ryan White, an HIV-positive teenager who has become a national spokesperson for AIDS education, treatment, and funding, testifies before the President’s Commission on AIDS.
  6. Elizabeth Glaser Exit Disclaimer, an HIV-positive mother of two HIV-positive children, and two of her friends form the Pediatric AIDS Foundation (later renamed the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Exit Disclaimer to advocate for research into the care and treatment needs of children living with HIV/AIDS.
  1. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awards HIV Planning Grants to 11 states and 10 cities in order to create a plan for HIV/AIDS systems of care. This lays the groundwork for the statewide programs that will later be funded under the Ryan White CARE Act.
  2. HRSA also funds the first Pediatric AIDS Service Demonstration Grants, a program which will eventually become part of the Ryan White CARE Act.
  3. In April, the first comprehensive needle-exchange program (NEP) in North America is established in Tacoma, WA. San Francisco then establishes what becomes the largest NEP in the nation.
  4. On May 26, the U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, launches the U.S.’s first coordinated HIV/AIDS education campaign by mailing 107 million copies of a booklet, Understanding AIDS (PDF 1.1 MB), to all American households.
  5. On October 11, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) Exit Disclaimer protests at FDA headquarters about the drug-approval process. Eight days later, FDA announces new regulations to speed up drug approvals.
  6. UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) Exit Disclaimer reports that the number of women living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa exceeds that of men.

1989

  1. Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS-related illness on March 9.
  2. On June 16, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issue the first guidelines for preventing Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), an AIDS-related opportunistic infection, and a major cause of illness and death for people living with AIDS.
  3. On June 23, CDC releases the Guidelines for Prevention of Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis B Virus to Health-Care and Public-Safety Workers.
  4. The U.S. Congress creates the National Commission on AIDS. The Commission meets for the first time on September 18.
  1. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), endorses giving HIV-positive people who do not qualify for clinical trials access to experimental treatments.
  2. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants $20 million for HIV care and treatment through the Home-Based and Community-Based Care State grant program. For many states, this is their first involvement in HIV care and treatment.
  3. A CDC/HRSA initiative provides $11 million to fund seven community health centers to provide HIV counseling and testing services. This is a precursor to what will be part of the Ryan White CARE Act.
  4. The number of reported AIDS cases in the United States reaches 100,000.

1990

  1. On January 18, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the possible transmission of HIV to a patient through a dental procedure performed by an HIV-positive dentist. This episode provokes much public debate about the safety of common dental and medical procedures.
  2. On January 26, the U.S. Public Health Service issues a statement on managing occupational exposure to HIV, including considerations regarding post-exposure use of the antiretroviral drug, AZT.
  3. Pop artist Keith Haring dies of AIDS-related illness on February 16.
  4. On April 8, Ryan White dies of AIDS-related illness at the age of 18.
  5. On May 21, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) Exit Disclaimer protests at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), demanding more HIV treatments and the expansion of clinical trials to include more women and people of color.
  6. In June, the 6th International AIDS Conference meets in San Francisco. To protest U.S. immigration policy that bars people with HIV from entering the country, domestic and international nongovernmental groups boycott the conference.
  1. In July, the U.S. Congress enacts the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including people living with HIV/AIDS.
  2. In August, the U.S. Congress enacts the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 1990 (PDF 8.3 MB), which provides $220.5 million in Federal funds for HIV community-based care and treatment services in its first year. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) manages the program, which is the nation’s largest HIV-specific Federal grant program.
  3. On October 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves use of zidovudine (AZT) for pediatric AIDS.
  4. CDC adopts the HIV-prevention counseling model, a “client-centered” approach that focuses on the patient, rather than the disease.

1991

  1. The Visual AIDS Artists Caucus Exit Disclaimer launches the Red Ribbon Project to create a visual symbol to demonstrate compassion for people living with AIDS and their caregivers. The red ribbon becomes the international symbol of AIDS awareness.
  2. The U.S. Congress enacts the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) Act of 1991. Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HOPWA grants to states and local communities provide housing assistance to people living with AIDS.
  3. On July 21, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend restrictions on the practice of HIV-positive healthcare workers and Congress enacts a law requiring states to adopt the CDC restrictions or to develop and adopt their own.
  1. In August, the U.S. Congress passes the Terry Beirn Community-Based Clinical Trials Program Act (PDF, 56 KB) to establish a network of community-based clinical trials for HIV treatment.
  2. The National Minority AIDS Council Exit Disclaimer (NMAC), in cooperation with the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) and the National AIDS Interfaith Network, holds the first annual National Skills Building Conference, which will later become the United States Conference on AIDS.
  3. On November 7, American basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson Exit Disclaimer announces that he is HIV-positive.
  4. On November 24, Freddie Mercury, lead singer/ songwriter of the rock band Queen, dies of bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. Exit Disclaimer

1992

  1. The 8th International AIDS Conference is originally scheduled to be held in Boston, but is moved to Amsterdam due to U.S. immigration restrictions on people living with HIV/AIDS.
  2. AIDS becomes the number one cause of death for U.S. men ages 25 to 44.
  3. On May 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licenses a 10-minute diagnostic test kit which can be used by health professionals to detect the presence of HIV-1.
  1. On December 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launch the Business Responds to AIDS program to help large and small businesses meet the challenges of HIV/AIDS in the workplace and the community. (CDC will start the Labor Responds to AIDS program in 1995.)
  2. Florida teenager Ricky Ray dies of AIDS-related illness on December 13. The 15-year-old hemophiliac and his two younger brothers sparked a national conversation on AIDS after their court battle to attend school led to boycotts by local residents and the torching of their home.

1993

  1. President Clinton establishes the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP).
  2. World-renowned ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev dies of AIDS-related illness on January 6, and tennis star Arthur Ashe dies on February 3.
  3. On May 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the female condom.
  4. In June, the U.S. Congress enacts the NIH (National Institutes of Health) Revitalization Act, giving the Office of AIDS Research primary oversight of all NIH AIDS research. The Act requires NIH and other research agencies to expand involvement of women and minorities in all research.
  5. The same act codifies the U.S. HIV immigration exclusion policy into law; President Clinton signs it on June 10.
  6. In August, the Women’s Interagency HIV Study Exit Disclaimer and HIV Epidemiology Study begin; both are major U.S. Federally funded research studies on women and HIV/AIDS.
  7. On December 18, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expand the case definition of AIDS, declaring those with CD4 counts below 200 to have AIDS.
  1. In that same MMWR, CDC adds three new conditions—pulmonary tuberculosis, recurrent pneumonia, and invasive cervical cancer—to the list of clinical indicators of AIDS. These new conditions mean that more women and injection drug users will be diagnosed with AIDS.
  2. CDC institutes the community-planning process to better target local prevention efforts.
  3. The National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) convenes the first annual “AIDS Watch.” Hundreds of community members from across the U.S. come to Washington, DC to lobby Congress for increased funding.
  4. The film “Philadelphia” starring Tom Hanks as a lawyer with AIDS, opens in theaters. Based on a true story, it is the first major Hollywood film on AIDS.
  5. Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s play about AIDS, wins the Tony Award for Best Play and the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

1994

  1. AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for all Americans ages 25 to 44.
  2. On February 17, Randy Shilts, a U.S. journalist who covered the AIDS epidemic and who authored And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic, dies of AIDS-related illness at age 42.
  3. On May 20, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes Guidelines for Preventing Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Through Transplantation of Human Tissue and Organs.
  4. On August 5, the U.S. Public Health Service recommends that pregnant women be given the antiretroviral drug AZT to reduce the risk of perinatal transmission of HIV.
  1. Pedro Zamora, a young gay man living with HIV, appears on the cast of MTV’s popular show, “The Real World.” He dies on November 11 at age 22.
  2. On December 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves an oral HIV test, the first non-blood-based antibody test for HIV.
  3. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues guidelines requiring applicants for grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address "the appropriate inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research."

1995

  1. On February 23, Greg Louganis, Olympic gold medal diver, discloses that he is HIV-positive.
  2. In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the first protease inhibitor. This ushers in a new era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
  3. Eric Lynn Wright, a.k.a. rapper Eazy-E, died on March 26 from an AIDS-related illness Exit Disclaimer one month after being diagnosed.
  4. On June 27, the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) launches the first National HIV Testing Day.
  5. On July 14, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issue the first guidelines to help healthcare providers prevent opportunistic infections in people infected with HIV.
  1. President Clinton establishes his Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). The Council meets for the first time on July 28.
  2. On September 22, CDC reviews Syringe Exchange Programs -- United States, 1994-1995. The National Academy of Sciences Exit Disclaimer concludes that syringe exchange programs should be regarded as an effective component of a comprehensive strategy to prevent infectious disease.
  3. President Clinton hosts the first White House Conference on HIV/AIDS on December 6.
  4. By October 31, 500,000 cases of AIDS have been reported in the US.

1996

  1. In Vancouver, the 11th International AIDS Conference highlights the effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), creating a period of optimism.
  2. The number of new AIDS cases diagnosed in the U.S. declines for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic.
  3. AIDS is no longer leading cause of death for all Americans ages 25-44, although it remains the leading cause of death for African Americans in this age group.
  4. UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) Exit Disclaimer begins operations. It is established to advocate for global action on the epidemic and to coordinate HIV/AIDS efforts across the UN system.
  5. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves:
    • the first HIV home testing and collection kit (May 14)
    • a viral load test, which measures the level of HIV in the blood (June 3)
    • the first non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) drug, nevirapine (June 21)
    • the first HIV urine test (August 6)
  1. The U.S. Congress reauthorizes the Ryan White CARE Act on May 20.
  2. In October, the AIDS Memorial Quilt Exit Disclaimer is displayed in its entirety for the last time. It covers the entire National Mall in Washington, DC.
  3. HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho advocates for a new strategy for treating HIV – “hit early, hit hard,” in which patients are placed on new, more aggressive treatment regimes earlier in the course of their infection in hopes of keeping them healthier longer. He is subsequently named TIME Magazine’s “Man of the Year.
  4. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative Exit Disclaimer (IAVI) forms to speed the search for an effective HIV vaccine.

1997

  1. In response to the call to “hit early, hit hard,” highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) becomes the new standard of HIV care.
  2. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the first substantial decline in AIDS deaths in the United States. Due largely to the use of HAART, AIDS-related deaths in the U.S. decline by 47% compared with the previous year.
  3. On May 18, President Clinton announces that the goal of finding an effective vaccine for HIV in 10 years will be a top national priority, and calls for the creation of an AIDS vaccine research center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (He dedicates the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center on June 9, 1999.)
  4. On September 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Combivir, a combination of two antiretroviral drugs in one tablet, which makes it easier for people living with HIV to take their medications.
  1. On November 21, the U.S. Congress enacts the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA) of 1997, codifying an accelerated drug-approval process and allowing dissemination of information about off-label uses of drugs.
  2. UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS) Exit Disclaimer estimates that 30 million adults and children worldwide have HIV, and that, each day, 16,000 people are newly infected with the virus.
  3. As a greater number of people begin taking protease inhibitors, resistance to the drugs becomes more common, and drug resistance emerges as an area of grave concern within the AIDS community.

1998

  1. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that African Americans account for 49% of U.S. AIDS-related deaths. AIDS-related mortality for African Americans is almost 10 times that of Whites and three times that of Hispanics.
  2. In March, African American leaders, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), are briefed on the highly disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS in their communities. They develop a “Call to Action,” requesting that the President and Surgeon General declare HIV/AIDS a “State of Emergency” in the African American community.
  3. In October, President Clinton declares AIDS to be a “severe and ongoing health crisis” in African American and Hispanic communities in the United States and announces a special package of initiatives aimed at reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS on racial and ethnic minorities.
  4. With the leadership of the CBC, Congress funds the Minority AIDS Initiative (PDF 126 KB). An unprecedented $156 million is invested to improve the nation’s effectiveness in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS in African American, Hispanic, and other minority communities.
  1. On April 20, Donna Shalala, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, determines that needle-exchange programs (NEPs) are effective and do not encourage the use of illegal drugs, but the Clinton Administration does not lift the ban on use of Federal funds for NEPs.
  2. On April 24, CDC issues the first national treatment guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy (PDF, 2.86 MB) in adults and adolescents with HIV.
  3. On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers those in earlier stages of HIV disease, not just those who have developed AIDS.
  4. On November 12, the U.S. Congress enacts the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act, (PDF 184 KB) honoring the Florida teenager who was infected with HIV through contaminated blood products. The Act authorizes payments to individuals with hemophilia and other blood clotting disorders who were infected with HIV by unscreened blood-clotting agents between 1982 and 1987.

1999

  1. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Exit Disclaimer, convenes Congressional hearings on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Latino community.
  2. The World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO) announces that HIV/AIDS has become the fourth biggest killer worldwide and the number one killer in Africa. WHO estimates that 33 million people are living with HIV worldwide, and that 14 million have died of AIDS.
  3. In March, VaxGen, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company, begins conducting the first human vaccine trials in a developing country—Thailand.
  1. On July 19, President Clinton announces the formation of the “Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic” (LIFE) Initiative (PDF 88 KB), which will provide funding to address the global HIV epidemic.
  2. On December 10, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) release a new HIV case definition to help state health departments expand their HIV surveillance efforts and more accurately track the changing course of the epidemic.

2000

  1. On January 10, the United Nations Security Council Exit Disclaimer meets to discuss the impact of AIDS on peace and security in Africa. This marks the first time that the council discusses a health issue as a threat to peace and security.
  2. In his State of the Union address on January 27, President Clinton announces the launch of the Millennium Vaccine Initiative to create incentives for developing and distributing vaccines against HIV, TB, and malaria.
  3. On April 30, President Clinton declares that HIV/AIDS is a threat to U.S. national security.
  4. On May 10, President Clinton issues an Executive Order to assist developing countries in importing and producing generic HIV treatments.
  5. In July, UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) Exit Disclaimer, the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO), and other global health groups announce a joint initiative with five major pharmaceutical manufacturers to negotiate reduced prices for HIV/AIDS drugs in developing countries.
  1. On July 23, the leaders of the “Group of Eight” (G8) Summit release a statement acknowledging the need for additional HIV/AIDS resources. Exit Disclaimer G8 members make up most of the world’s largest economies, and include: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  2. In August, the U.S. Congress enacts the Global AIDS and Tuberculosis Relief Act of 2000. (PDF 2.1 MB)
  3. In September, as part of its Millennium Declaration Exit Disclaimer, the United Nations adopts the Millennium Development Goals Exit Disclaimer, which include a specific goal of reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB.
  4. In October, the U.S. Congress reauthorizes the Ryan White CARE Act for the second time.

2001

  1. February 7 marks the first annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer in the U.S.
  2. May 18 is the first annual observance of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.
  3. On June 25-27, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Exit Disclaimer holds its first Special Session on AIDS Exit Disclaimer (UNGASS) and passes the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment Exit Disclaimer and the ILO (International Labor Organization) Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS in the Workplace Exit Disclaimer (PDF, 127 KB). The meeting also calls for the creation of an international “global fund” to support efforts by countries and organizations to combat the spread of HIV through prevention, care, and treatment, including the purchase of HIV medications.
  4. Newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, reaffirms the U.S. statement that HIV/AIDS is a national security threat.
  1. After generic drug manufacturers offer to produce discounted, generic forms of HIV/AIDS drugs for developing countries; several major pharmaceutical manufacturers agree to offer further reduced drug prices to those countries.
  2. On November 14, the World Trade Organization Exit Disclaimer (WTO) announces the Doha Declaration Exit Disclaimer, which affirms the rights of developing countries to buy or manufacture generic medications to meet public health crises such as HIV/AIDS.
  3. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) begins focusing on individuals with HIV disease who know their status and are not receiving HIV-related services. HRSA instructs its grantees to address this population’s “unmet need” for services.
  4. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announce a new HIV Prevention Strategic Plan to cut annual HIV infections in the U.S. by half within five years.

2002

  1. In January, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Exit Disclaimer, a partnership between governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, and affected communities, is established.
  2. On April 25, the Global Fund approves its first round of grants to governments and private-sector organizations in the developing world. The grants total $600 million for two-year projects.
  3. On June 25, the United States announces a framework that will allow poor countries unable to produce pharmaceuticals to gain greater access to drugs needed to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other public health crises.
  4. In July, UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS) Exit Disclaimer reports that HIV/AIDS is now by far the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, and the fourth biggest global killer. Average life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa falls from 62 years to 47 years as a result of AIDS.
  5. The 14th International AIDS Conference is held in Barcelona, Spain from July 7-12. Dozens of countries report they are experiencing serious HIV/AIDS epidemics, and many more are on the brink.
  1. In September, the U.S. National Intelligence Council releases Next Wave of the Epidemic, a report focusing on HIV in India, China, Russia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.
  2. On November 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the first rapid HIV diagnostic test kit for use in the United States that provides results with 99.6 percent accuracy in as little as 20 minutes. Unlike other antibody tests for HIV, this blood test can be stored at room temperature, requires no specialized equipment, and may be used outside of traditional laboratory or clinical settings, allowing more widespread use of HIV testing.
  3. Worldwide, 10 million young people, aged 15-24, and almost 3 million children under 15 are living with HIV. During this year, approximately 3.5 million new infections will occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and the epidemic will claim the lives of an estimated 2.4 million Africans.
  4. Side effects and increasing evidence of drug resistance call into question the “hit early, hit hard” strategy.

2003

  1. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculate that 27,000 of the estimated 40,000 new infections that occur each year in the U.S. result from transmission by individuals who do not know they are infected.
  2. On January 28, President George W. Bush announces the creation of the United States President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in his State of the Union address. PEPFAR is a $15 billion, 5-year plan to combat AIDS, primarily in countries with a high burden of infections.
  3. On February 24, VaxGen, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company, announces that its AIDSVAX vaccine trial failed to reduce overall HIV infection rates among those who were vaccinated.
  4. On March 31, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Exit Disclaimer awards a $60 million grant to the International Partnership for Microbicides Exit Disclaimer to support research and development of microbicides to prevent transmission of HIV.
  1. On April 18, CDC announces Advancing HIV Prevention: New Strategies for a Changing Epidemic, a new prevention initiative that aims to reduce barriers to early diagnosis and increase access to, and utilization of, quality medical care, treatment, and ongoing prevention services for those living with HIV.
  2. In early June, the “Group of Eight” (G8) Summit includes a special focus on HIV/AIDS and announcements of new commitments (PDF 854 KB) to the Global Fund. G8 members make up most of the world’s largest economies and include: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  3. October 15 marks the first annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer in the U.S.
  4. On October 23, the William J. Clinton Foundation Exit Disclaimer secures price reductions for HIV/AIDS drugs from generic manufacturers, to benefit developing nations.
  5. On December 1, the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO) announces the “3 by 5” initiative, to bring treatment to 3 million people by 2005.

2004

  1. In January, the U.S. Congress authorizes the first $350 million for the United States President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
  2. In February, UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS) Exit Disclaimer launches The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS Exit Disclaimer to raise the visibility of the epidemic’s impact on women and girls around the world.
  3. On March 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of oral fluid samples with a rapid HIV diagnostic test kit that provides the result in approximately 20 minutes.
  1. On May 17, FDA issues a guidance document for expedited approval of low cost, safe, and effective co-packaged and fixed-dose combination HIV therapies so that high-quality drugs can be made available in Africa and developing countries around the world under PEPFAR.
  2. On June 10, leaders of the “Group of Eight” (G8) Summit (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) call for the creation of a “Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise,” Exit Disclaimer a consortium of government and private-sector groups designed to coordinate and accelerate research efforts to find an effective HIV vaccine.

2005

  1. During its annual meeting in January, the World Economic Forum Exit Disclaimer approves a set of new priorities, including one with a focus on addressing HIV/AIDS in Africa and other hard-hit regions.
  2. On January 26, the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO), UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) Exit Disclaimer, the U.S. Government, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Exit Disclaimer announce results of joint efforts to increase the availability of antiretroviral drugs in developing countries. An estimated 700,000 people have been reached by the end of 2004.
  3. Also on January 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants tentative approval to a generic copackaged antiretroviral drug regimen for use under the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
  1. May 19 is the first annual National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer in the U.S.
  2. On June 2, the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS meets to review progress on targets set at the 2001 U.N. General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS Exit Disclaimer (UNGASS).
  3. On July 6-8, the “Group of Eight” (G8) Summit Exit Disclaimer focuses on development in Africa, including HIV/AIDS Exit Disclaimer (PDF, 372KB). G8 members make up most of the world’s largest economies and include: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

2006

  1. June 5 marks 25 years since the first AIDS cases were reported.
  2. March 10 is the first annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the U.S.
  3. March 20 is the first annual observance of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer in the U.S.
  4. On May 3-6, the Office of AIDS Research, in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sponsors Embracing Our Traditions, Values, and Teachings: Native Peoples of North America HIV/AIDS Conference, in Anchorage, Alaska. The conference involves nearly 1,000 participants from the American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nations, and U.S. Territorial Pacific Islander communities.
  5. On May 31, the United Nations convenes a follow-up meeting and issues a progress report on the implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS Exit Disclaimer.
  1. On September 22, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) release revised HIV testing recommendations for healthcare settings, recommending routine HIV screening for all adults, aged 13-64, and yearly screening for those at high risk.
  2. In December, a University of Illinois at Chicago study indicates that medical circumcision of men reduces their risk of acquiring HIV during heterosexual intercourse by 53 percent. The clinical trial of Kenyan men is supported by the U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Canadian Institute of Health Research Exit Disclaimer.
  3. On December 19, the U.S. Congress reauthorizes the Ryan White CARE Act for the third time.

2007

  1. In an attempt to increase the number of people taking HIV tests, on May 30, the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO) and UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) Exit Disclaimer issue new guidance recommending “provider-initiated” HIV testing Exit Disclaimer in healthcare settings.
  2. In June, the Rwandan Government hosts the International HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting (PDF) Exit Disclaimer. Over 1,500 delegates share lessons on HIV prevention, treatment, and care. Cosponsors include WHO, UNAIDS, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Exit Disclaimer, the United Nations Children’s Fund Exit Disclaimer (UNICEF), the World Bank Exit Disclaimer, and GNP+ (the Global Network of People Living with HIV) Exit Disclaimer.
  1. In October, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launch Prevention IS Care (PIC), a social marketing campaign designed for healthcare providers who deliver care to people living with HIV.
  2. CDC reports over 565,000 people have died of AIDS in the U.S. since 1981.

2008

  1. In June, the International HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting is hosted by the Ugandan Government. Cosponsors include the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Exit Disclaimer, UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) Exit Disclaimer, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund Exit Disclaimer (UNICEF), the World Bank Exit Disclaimer, and GNP+ (the Global Network of People Living with HIV) Exit Disclaimer.
  2. On July 31, President Bush signs legislation reauthorizing PEPFAR for an additional five years for up to $48 billion. The bill contains a rider that lifts the blanket ban on HIV-positive travelers to the U.S., and gives the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the authority to admit people living with HIV/AIDS on a case-by-case basis.
  1. On August 6, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) release new domestic HIV incidence estimates that are substantially higher than previous estimates (56,300 new infections per year vs. 40,000). The new estimates do not represent an actual increase in the numbers of HIV infections, but reflect a more accurate way of measuring new infections. A separate analysis suggests that the annual number of new infections was never as low as 40,000 and that it has been roughly stable since the late 1990s.
  2. September 18 is the first observance of National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer.
  3. National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is first recognized on September 27.

2009

  1. Newly elected President Barack Obama calls for the development of the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.
  2. In February, the District of Columbia Health Department’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration Exit Disclaimer reports that Washington, DC has a higher rate of HIV (3% prevalence) than West Africa– enough to describe it as a “severe and generalized epidemic.”
  3. On April 7, the White House and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launch the Act Against AIDS campaign, a multiyear, multifaceted communication campaign designed to reduce HIV incidence in the United States. CDC also launches the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI), to harness the collective strength and reach of traditional, longstanding African American institutions to increase HIV-related awareness, knowledge, and action within Black communities across the U.S.
  4. On May 5, President Obama launches the Global Health Initiative (GHI), a six-year, U.S. $63 billion effort to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing global health in low- and middle-income countries. The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will serve as a core component.
  5. June 8 marks the first annual recognition of Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer.
  1. On August 17, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) moves to increase the number of veterans getting HIV tests by dropping the requirement for written consent (verbal consent is still required).
  2. On October 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in association with the PEPFAR program, approves the 100th antiretroviral drug.
  3. On October 30, President Obama announces that his administration will officially lift the HIV travel and immigration ban in January 2010 by removing the final regulatory barriers to entry. The lifting of the travel ban occurs in conjunction with the announcement that the International AIDS Conference Exit Disclaimer will return to the United States for the first time in more than 20 years. The conference will be held in Washington, DC in 2012.
  4. On November 24, UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) Exit Disclaimer reports that there has been a significant decline (-17%) in new HIV infections in the past decade. East Asia, however, has seen a dramatic 25% increase in infections over the same period.
  5. In December, President Obama signs the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (PDF, 1.08 MB), modifying the ban on the use of Federal funds for needle exchange programs. When applicable, Federal funds may be used for personnel, equipment, syringe disposal services, educational materials, communication and marketing activities and evaluation activities, and evaluation. Some HHS programs may still contain partial or complete bans on the use of funds for needle exchange programs.

2010

  1. On January 4, the U.S. Government officially lifts the HIV travel and immigration ban.
  2. On March 23, President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , which expands access to care and prevention for all Americans—but offers special protections for those living with chronic illnesses, like HIV, that make it difficult for them to access or afford healthcare.
  3. On July 13, the Obama Administration releases the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.
  4. The 18th International AIDS Conference Exit Disclaimer takes place in Vienna, Austria from July 18-23. The biggest outcomes from the conference include:
  5. The results of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa’s (CAPRISA) 004 study Exit Disclaimer of antiretroviral-based vaginal microbicides are released on July 19. The study shows the microbicides to be safe and effective in reducing risks of new HIV infections among women by 39%. Women who use the microbicides as directed have even higher rates of protection (54%) against HIV infection.
  1. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announce the results of the iPrEx study, showing that a daily dose of HIV drugs reduced the risk of HIV infection among HIV-negative men who have sex with men by 44%, supporting the concept of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in a targeted population.
  2. On September 20-22, the United Nations Exit Disclaimer (UN) convenes a summit to accelerate progress toward the 2015 Millennium Development Goals Exit Disclaimer.
  3. Also in September, the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer (WHO), UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) Exit Disclaimer, and the United Nations Children’s Fund Exit Disclaimer (UNICEF) publish their annual Universal Access report for low- and middle-income countries. The report shows an estimated 5.25 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy in 2009, and an estimated 1.2 million people started treatment that same year – the largest annual increase yet recorded.
  4. AIDS Action merges with the National AIDS Fund to form AIDS United Exit Disclaimer.

2011

  1. Public debate begins on whether the longstanding ban on transplants of HIV-infected organs should be dropped Exit Disclaimer.
  2. Lead Federal agencies release implementation plans in support of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
  3. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launches the 12 Cities Project (PDF, 427 KB), an HHS-wide project that supports and accelerates comprehensive HIV/AIDS planning and cross-agency response in the 12 U.S. jurisdictions that bear the highest AIDS burden in the country.
  4. AIDS activist and award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor dies on March 23. One of the first celebrities to advocate on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS, Taylor was the founding national chairman of amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) Exit Disclaimer, a nonprofit organization that supports AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and advocates for AIDS-related public policy.
  5. On June 8, HHS Secretary Sebelius hosted “Commemorating 30 Years of Leadership in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS”. Watch Exit Disclaimer the Secretary's speech.
  6. Over 3,000 people participate in the United Nation’s (UN) High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in New York from June 8–10. The session recognizes critical milestones, including three decades of the pandemic and the 10-year anniversary of the 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS and the resulting Declaration of Commitment Exit Disclaimer. At the Meeting, the U.S. joined with other partners in launching a global plan Exit Disclaimer to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and keep mothers alive.
  7. July 13 marks the one-year anniversary of the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The White House release a video: “President Obama’s National HIV/AIDS StrategyExit Disclaimer and the “National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Implementation Plan Update“ (PDF, 387 KB).
  1. On July 13, a new CDC study (TDF2 (PDF 130 KB)) and a separate trial (the Partners PrEP study) Exit Disclaimer (PDF 144 KB) provide the first evidence that a daily oral dose of antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV infection can also reduce HIV acquisition among uninfected individuals exposed to the virus through heterosexual sex.
  2. At the International AIDS Society’s Exit Disclaimer Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Prevention Exit Disclaimer in Rome (July 17-20), scientists announce that two studies have confirmed that individuals taking daily antiretroviral drugs experienced infection rates more than 60 percent lower than those on a placebo.
  3. In September, the Office of National AIDS Policy begins to convene a series of five regional dialogues to focus attention on critical implementation issues for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
  4. On September 30, the first Road to AIDS 2012 Exit Disclaimer Town Hall meeting kicks off in San Francisco. This is the first of 15 meetings to be held across the country, leading up to the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), Exit Disclaimer to be held July 22-27, 2012, in Washington, DC.
  5. On November 8, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shares the U.S. Government’s bold new vision of creating an AIDS-free generation, and speaks about the remarkable progress made in 30 years of fighting AIDS.
  6. On December 1 (World AIDS Day), at the ONE Campaign and (RED) event in Washington, DC, President Obama announces accelerated efforts to increase the availability of treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. He challenges the global community to deliver funds to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Exit Disclaimer, and calls on Congress to keep its past commitments intact. He calls on all Americans to keep fighting to end the epidemic.
  7. On December 23, the journal Science announces that it has chosen the HPTN 052 study as its 2011 Breakthrough of the Year.

2012

  1. March 13: Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia find that people living with HIV who are taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Exit Disclaimer
  2. March 27: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues new HIV treatment guidelines recommending treatment for all HIV-infected adults and adolescents, regardless of CD4 count or viral load.
  3. July 1: The Kaiser Family Foundation Exit Disclaimer and the Washington Post release a joint survey Exit Disclaimer of the American public’s attitudes, awareness, and experiences related to HIV and AIDS. The survey finds that roughly a quarter of Americans do not know that HIV cannot be transmitted by sharing a drinking glass—almost exactly the same share as in 1987.
  4. July 3: The FDA approves the first at-home HIV test that will let users learn their HIV status right away.
  1. July 16: The FDA approves the use of Truvada® for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Adults who do not have HIV, but who are at risk for infection, can now take this medication to reduce their risk of getting the virus through sexual activity.
  2. July 22-27: The XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) Exit Disclaimer is held in Washington, DC—the first time since 1990 that the conference has been held in the United States. Conference organizers had refused to convene the event in the U.S. until the Federal government lifted the ban on HIV-positive travelers entering the country.
  3. During AIDS 2012, the AIDS Memorial Quilt Exit Disclaimer is displayed in its entirety in Washington, DC, for the first time since 1996. Volunteers have to rotate nearly 50,000 panels to ensure that the entire work is displayed. Microsoft Research, the University of Southern California, the NAMES Project Foundation, Exit Disclaimer and a handful of other institutions collaborate to create a zoomable “map” of the Quilt. Exit Disclaimer

2013

  1. The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) celebrates its 10th anniversary.
  2. March 4: NIH-funded scientists announce the first well-documented case of an HIV-infected child, designated as “the Mississippi Baby,” who appears to have been functionally cured of HIV infection (i.e., no detectable levels of virus or signs of disease, even without antiretroviral therapy.
  3. June 2: The New York Times runs two articles which focus on middle-aged people living with HIV: The Faces of H.I.V. in New York in 2013 and ‘People Think It’s Over’: Spared Death, Aging People With H.I.V. Struggle to Live. Exit Disclaimer
  4. June 5: The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) releases RISE Proud: Combating HIV Among Black Gay and Bisexual Men Exit Disclaimer (PDF 1.4 MB), an action plan to mitigate the impact of HIV on black gay and bisexual men.
  5. June 18: Secretary of State John Kerry announces that, thanks to direct PEPFAR support, more than 1 million infants have been born HIV-free since 2003.
  6. July 3: Researchers report Exit Disclaimer that two HIV-positive patients in Boston who had bone-marrow transplants for blood cancers have apparently been virus-free for weeks since their antiretroviral drugs were stopped.
  7. July 13: President Obama issues an Executive Order directing Federal agencies to prioritize supporting the HIV care continuum as a means of implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The HIV Care Continuum Initiative Exit Disclaimer aims to accelerate efforts to improve the percentage of people living with HIV who move from testing to treatment and—ultimately—to viral suppression.
  1. October: The National Latino AIDS Action Network Exit Disclaimer (NLAAN)—a diverse coalition of community-based organizations, national organizations, state and local health departments, researchers and concerned individuals—publishes the National Latino/Hispanic HIV/AIDS Action Agenda Exit Disclaimer (PDF 4.1 MB) to raise awareness, identify priorities, and issue specific recommendations to address the impact of the epidemic in Hispanic/Latino communities.
  2. November 21: President Obama signs the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act, which will allow people living with HIV to receive organs from other infected donors. The HOPE Act has the potential to save the lives of about 1,000 HIV-infected patients with liver and kidney failure annually.
  3. December 5: Nelson Mandela Exit Disclaimer—South African anti-apartheid leader, political prisoner, and national President from 1994 to 1999—dies at the age of 95. After his son, Makgatho, died of AIDS-related causes in 2005, Mandela spent the remainder of his post presidential career working to address the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, which is home to the largest number of people living with HIV (~6.8 million) in the world.
  4. At the end of 2012, UNAIDS estimates Exit Disclaimer that, worldwide, 2.3 million people were newly infected with HIV during the year, and 1.6 million people died of AIDS. Approximately 35.3 million people around the world are now living with HIV, including more than 1.2 million Americans (PDF 477 KB).
  5. UNAIDS also announces that new HIV infections have dropped Exit Disclaimer more than 50% in 25 low- and middle-income countries, and the number of people getting antiretroviral treatment has increased 63% in the past two years.

2014

  1. January 1: Major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) designed to protect consumers go into effect. Exit Disclaimer Insurers are now barred from discriminating against customers with pre-existing conditions, and they can no longer impose annual limits on coverage—both key advances for people living with HIV/AIDS.
  2. January 2: News sources report that the two Boston patients believed to have been cured of HIV after undergoing treatment for cancer have relapsed. Exit Disclaimer
  3. February 3: amfAR announces the launch of Countdown to a Cure for AIDS, Exit Disclaimer a $100 million research initiative aimed at finding a broadly applicable cure for HIV by 2020.
  4. March 4: European researchers announce the results of the first phase of the PARTNER Study, Exit Disclaimer an observational study focusing on the risk of sexual HIV transmission when an HIV-positive person is on treatment. The study found that no HIV-positive partner who was undergoing antiretroviral therapy and had an undetectable viral load had transmitted HIV.
  5. March—The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women releases a report Exit Disclaimer (PDF 563 KB) on the challenges and achievements of implementing the MDGs for women and girls. The Commission concludes that progress on MDG6 (Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases) has been limited, given that the number of women living with HIV globally continues to increase. The report notes several key challenges: adolescent/young women’s particular vulnerability to HIV; the need to increase access to healthcare services; and the challenges of structural gender inequalities, stigma, discrimination, and violence.
  6. March 24—Douglas Brooks is appointed as the new Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). He is the first African American and the first HIV-positive person to hold the position.
  7. April 4: Dr. Deborah Birx is sworn in as Ambassador at Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator to oversee the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). She replaces Dr. Eric Goosby.
  1. July 10: The National Institutes of Health announce that the “Mississippi baby” now has detectable levels of HIV after more than two years of showing no evidence of the virus.
  2. July 17: Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, is shot down over conflict-ridden Ukraine, Exit Disclaimer killing all 298 people aboard, including six prominent scientists and AIDS activists on their way to the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) Exit Disclaimer in Melbourne, Australia.
  3. July 20-25: AIDS 2014 draws nearly 14,000 delegates from over 200 nations. One key message of the conference is that a one-size-fits-all approach may not be suitable for all settings Exit Disclaimer (PDF 4.6 MB), especially given the diversity of the epidemic’s geographical hotspots and key populations. Interventions and policies will require target-based strategies and greater support of key populations, especially in countries where discriminatory policies and legislation are hindering prevention and treatment efforts.
  4. September 9: The Pew Charitable Trust publishes Southern States Are Now Epicenter of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Exit Disclaimer
  5. October 9: CDC releases a new report that finds gaps in care and treatment among Latinos diagnosed with HIV.
  6. November 25: CDC announces that only 30% of Americans with HIV had the virus under control in 2011, and approximately two-thirds of those whose virus was out of control had been diagnosed but were no longer in care.
  7. December 23: FDA announces it will recommend changing the blood donor deferral guidelines for men who have sex with men from permanent deferral to one year since the last sexual contact. In 1983, the agency imposed a lifetime ban on donating blood for all men who have ever had sex with another man.

2015

  1. January 8: A review of multiple studies Exit Disclaimer of South African women indicates that using Depo Provera, an injectable contraceptive, may increase women’s chances of contracting HIV by 40 percent.
  2. February 5:  HHS announces the launch of a new, 4-year demonstration project to address HIV disparities among MSM of color. The cross-agency project, “Developing Comprehensive Models of HIV Prevention and Care Services for MSM of Color,” will support community-based models for HIV prevention and treatment.
  3. February 23: CDC’s annual HIV Surveillance Report (PDF 2.8 MB), indicates that HIV diagnosis rates in the U.S. remained stable between 2009-2013, but men who have sex with men, young adults, racial/ethnic minorities, and individuals living in the South continue to bear a disproportionate burden of HIV.
  4. February 23: CDC announces that more than 90% of new HIV infections in the United States could be prevented by diagnosing people living with HIV and ensuring they receive prompt, ongoing care and treatment.
  5. February 25: Indiana state health officials announce an HIV outbreak linked to injection drug use (PDF 59 KB) in the southeastern portion of the state. By the end of the year, Indiana will confirm 184 new cases of HIV linked to the outbreak.
  6. April 15: NIH launches a large, multicenter, international clinical trial to study heart disease in people living with HIV, who are up to twice as likely as HIV-negative individuals to have heart attacks and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
  7. May 8: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces on May 8 that it will amend the Federal rules covering organ transplants to allow the recovery of transplantable organs from HIV-positive donors. The new regulations will provide a framework for clinical studies on transplanting organs from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive recipients.
  8. May 27: Results from the Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment (START) study indicate that HIV-positive individuals who start taking antiretroviral drugs before their CD4+ cell counts decrease have a considerably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illnesses. Subsequent data releases show that early therapy for people living with HIV also prevents the onset of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other non-AIDS-related diseases.
  9. June 30: The World Health Organization certifies that Cuba is the first nation to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of both HIV and syphilis.
  10. July 14: UNAIDS announces that the targets for Millennium Development Goal #6—halting and reversing the spread of HIV—have been achieved and exceeded 9 months ahead of the schedule set in 2000.
  11. July 20: Researchers report that antiretroviral therapy is highly effective at preventing sexual transmission of HIV from a person living with HIV to an uninfected heterosexual partner, when the HIV-positive partner is virally suppressed. The finding comes from the decade-long HPTN 052 clinical trial.
  12. July 23: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the first diagnostic test that differentiates between different types of HIV infections (HIV-1 and HIV-2). The test can also differentiate between acute and established HIV infections.
  13. July 30: The White House launches the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020 (PDF 2.2 MB). The updated Strategy retains the vision and goals of the original, but reflects scientific advances, transformations in healthcare access as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and a renewed emphasis on key populations, geographic areas, and practices necessary to end the domestic HIV epidemic.
  1. September 18: The U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Justice announce they will collaborate on a demonstration project to provide housing assistance and supportive services to low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.
  2. September 26: At a United Nations summit on the Sustainable Development Goals, the United States announces new PEPFAR prevention and treatment targets (PDF 640 KB) for 2016–2017. By the end of 2017, the U.S. will commit sufficient resources to support antiretroviral therapy for 12.9 million people, provide 13 million male circumcisions for HIV prevention, and reduce HIV incidence by 40% among adolescent girls and young women within the highest burdened areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries.
  3. September 30: The World Health Organization announces new treatment recommendations Exit Disclaimer that call for all people living with HIV to begin antiretroviral therapy as soon after diagnosis as possible. WHO also recommends daily oral PrEP as an additional prevention choice for those at substantial risk for contracting HIV. WHO estimates the new policies could help avert more than 21 million deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.
  4. October 20: Greater Than AIDS launches a new campaign, Empowered: Women, HIV and Intimate Partner Violence,Exit Disclaimer to bring more attention to issues of relationship violence and provide resources for women who may be at risk of, or dealing with, abuse and HIV.
  5. November 17: Actor Charlie Sheen announces his HIV-positive status Exit Disclaimer in a nationally televised interview. Significant public conversation about HIV follows his disclosure. Earlier in the year, rapper, performance artist, and poet Mykki Blanco took to Facebook to disclose his HIV status, and former child TV star Danny Pintauro told Oprah that he is living with HIV.
  6. November 24: UNAIDS releases its 2015 World AIDS Day report Exit Disclaimer (PDF 27 MB), which finds that 15.8 million people were accessing antiretroviral treatment as of June 2015—more than doubling the number of people who were on treatment in 2010.
  7. November 30: amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, announces its plan to establish the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research Exit Disclaimer at the University of California, San Francisco. As the cornerstone of amfAR’s $100 million investment in cure research, the Institute will work to develop the scientific basis for an HIV cure by the end of 2020.
  8. December 1: The White House releases a Federal Action Plan (PDF 772 KB) to accompany the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The plan was developed by 10 Federal agencies and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and contains 170 action items that the agencies will undertake to achieve the goals of the Strategy.
  9. December 6: CDC announces that annual HIV diagnoses in the U.S. fell by 19% from 2005 to 2014. There were steep declines among heterosexuals, people who inject drugs, and African Americans (especially black women), but trends for gay/bisexual men varied by race/ethnicity. Diagnoses among white gay/bisexual men decreased by 18%, but they continued to rise among Latino gay/bisexual men and were up 24%. Diagnoses among black gay/bisexual men also increased (22%), but the increase has leveled off since 2010.
  10. December 19: Partly in response to the HIV outbreak in Indiana, which is linked to people injecting drugs, Congress lifts restrictions that prevented states and localities from spending Federal funds for needle exchange programs.
  11. December 21: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces it will lift its 30-year-old ban on all blood donations by men who have sex with men and institute a policy that allows them to donate blood if they have not had sexual contact with another man in the previous 12 months.

Disclaimer and Acknowledgements

The information contained in this timeline has been drawn from numerous sources, including (but not limited to) the Kaiser Family Foundation Exit Disclaimer, Australia’s Albion Center Exit Disclaimer (PDF 613 KB), and the National Minority AIDS Council Exit Disclaimer (NMAC).

We have also relied on material provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The timeline is presented for informational purposes only. AIDS.gov does not endorse any organization or viewpoint represented in entries drawn from non-Federal sources.

Where possible, specific dates have been provided and events have been listed in chronological order. Entries without specific dates occurred in the year in which they are listed, but the order of those entries may not reflect the actual chronology of events.

Every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained in the timeline is accurate. Please send any corrections to contact@aids.gov.