On June 5, 1981, the first published report emerged of five previously healthy young men in Los Angeles diagnosed with what would soon become known as AIDS. One year later, the first AIDS case was reported in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Over the past 39 years, 75 million people have become infected with HIV and 32 million people have died from AIDS-related illness. Amidst this overwhelming tragedy, we have seen the remarkable power and perseverance of the human spirit. We have witnessed how courage, compassion, and commitment can transcend seemingly insurmountable odds. And we have watched as death and devastation are increasingly replaced by vibrant lives and hope.
This HIV Historical Timeline chronicles key milestones along this remarkable journey — moments that have shaped the AIDS epidemic and the response to it in the United States and globally, through the overlapping forces of political action, scientific discovery, and community activism.
Together, we have made remarkable progress toward controlling and ultimately ending AIDS, but the journey continues.
Visit the Virtual HIV Historical Timeline.