• Virus isolated by Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute and Robert Gallo of the National Cancer Institute determined to be cause of AIDS; later named the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).


• First International AIDS Conference held in Atlanta.
• Rock Hudson announces he has AIDS.
• Ryan White, 14, is barred from attending public school in Indiana because of being HIV-positive.


• President Ronald Reagan uses the word “AIDS” in public for the first time.


• ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) starts.
• Zidovudine (AZT) is approved to fight AIDS itself.
• U.S. adds HIV as a “dangerous contagious disease” to its immigration exclusion list.
• Pianist Liberace dies of AIDS.


• U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop launches the first coordinated HIV campaign by mailing 107 million copies of “Understanding AIDS” to all American households.


• Choreographer Alvin Ailey dies of AIDS.
• Gay artist Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS.


• Ryan White dies from AIDS at age 18. The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 1990 is approved.
• President George W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act, which in part prohibits discrimination against people with HIV.
• Artist Keith Haring dies of AIDS.
• Fashion designer Halston dies of AIDS.


• NBA superstar Magic Johnson announces that he has HIV and will retire from basketball.
• Red ribbon introduced as AIDS symbol.
• Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock band Queen, dies of AIDS.


• AIDS becomes number one cause of death for U.S. men ages 25 to 44.
• Tennis star Arthur Ashe announces he has AIDS.
• “Brady Bunch” star Robert Reed dies of AIDS.


• Arthur Ashe dies from AIDS.
• President Clinton establishes White House Office of National AIDS Policy.


• Elizabeth Glaser, co-founder of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, dies of AIDS.
• Pedro Zamora, a HIV-positive gay man, appears on the cast of MTVs popular show, “The Real World.” Zamora dies later this year at age 22.
• Randy Shilts, author of “And the Band Played On,” dies of AIDS at age 42.


• First protease inhibitor, saquinavir, approved in record time by the U.S. FDA, ushering in new era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
• Olympic Gold Medal diver Greg Louganis announces he has HIV.
• Rap star Eazy-E (Eric Wright) dies of AIDS.


• At 11th AIDS Conference in Vancouver, new protease inhibitors and combination therapies bring new optimism.
• The number of new AIDS cases diagnosed in the U.S. declines for first time in history of epidemic


• AIDS-related deaths in the U.S. decline by more than 40 percent compared to the prior year, largely due to HAART.


• U.S Department of Health & Human Services issues first national guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in adults.


• Study finds that numbers of new HIV infections are rising among young gay men.


• CDC reports that, among men who have sex with men in the U.S., African-American and Latino cases exceed those among whites.


• United Nations General Assembly convenes first ever special session on AIDS.


• HIV is leading cause of death worldwide, among those aged 15-59.


• President Bush announces PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.


• Leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) nations call for creation of “Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.”


• The World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the United States government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria announce results of joint efforts to increase the availability of antiretroviral drugs in developing countries.


• CDC recommends routine HIV screening for all adults ages 13-64


• Since 1981, more than 565,000 people have died of AIDS in the U.S., the CDC reports


• CDC releases new HIV estimates of 56,300 new infections per year, versus 40,000 previously cited. The increase is attributed to new ways of measuring new infections.


• President Obama announces his administration will remove final regulatory barriers to lift the HIV travel and immigration ban.


• Key studies show that microbicides can help reduce HIV infections among women, and that taking HIV medications may help keep HIV-negative gay men from contracting the virus.
• Obama Administration releases the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.


Sources: AIDS.gov, Kaiser Family Foundation (www.kff.org), AIDS Education Global Information System (www.aegis.com), staff reports

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