Scientists suggest that yet unnamed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was first transmitted, from one chimpanzee to one human, as early as 1908 in the southeastern corner of Cameroon.

An HIV viral variant known as HIV-2 is found in West Africa and alleged to have transferred to humans from sooty mangabey monkeys in Guinea-Bissau.

Jerome Horwitz of The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine synthesized Zidovudine (AZT), a drug originally intended to treat cancer.

Genetic studies of the HIV virus indicate that it first arrived in the Americas in 1966, infecting a person in Haiti.

Robert R., a teenager from St. Louis, Missouri, dies of an illness that baffles his doctors. 18 years later, molecular biologists at Tulane University would test samples of his remains and find evidence of HIV.

Bayesian phylogenetic analyses estimate the jump of the HIV virus to the U.S. at around 1970, suggesting a crucial hub of early U.S. HIV/AIDS diversification. 

The first reports of wasting and other symptoms, later associated with HIV/AIDS, are reported in Africa.

Arvid Noe, a Norwegian sailor, and daughter Bente Viviann Røed, die. It is later determined that Noe contracted HIV/AIDS in Africa during the early 1960s, transmitted the virus to his wife Solveig Oline Røed, who shared it with her daughter in utero.

A San Francisco sex worker gives birth to the first of 3 children who would later be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. The mother would die of AIDS-related complications in 1987.

Senhor José, a Portuguese man, dies. He would be later confirmed as the first known case of HIV-2 infection and believed to have been exposed to the virus in Guinea-Bissau in 1966.

Ken Horne, a San Francisco resident, the first recognized case of HIV/AIDS in the U.S., is reported to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with Kaposi sarcoma.

The New York Times publishes its first article about HIV/AIDS.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the weekly epidemiological digest published by the CDC, reports of five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) among previously healthy young men in Los Angeles. All of the men were described as "homosexuals."

The term Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID) is mentioned by the media and health care professionals, suggesting an inherent link between homosexuality and HIV/AIDS.

The term Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is proposed at a meeting of gay community leaders, federal bureaucrats, and the CDC to replace GRID, as evidence showed the illness was not specific to homosexual populations.

French virologist Dr. Barré-Sinoussi isolates a retrovirus that kills T cells from the lymphatic system of an HIV-positive homosexual patient.

The CDC reports 3,153 cases of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and 1,512 deaths.

Gaëtan Dugas, a Canadian flight attendant who was unjustly linked by the CDC with several of the first reported cases of HIV/AIDS in the U.S., dies. His name has been exonerated since.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) announces that scientist Dr. Robert Gallo has discovered the probable cause of AIDS: the retrovirus Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Rock Hudson, the first American celebrity to publicly admit having HIV/AIDS, dies.

The first HIV antibody test is approved in the U.S. HIV testing of blood products begins.

91% of all U.S. health insurance companies deny coverage to people living with HIV/AIDS.

HIV is formally adopted as the name of the retrovirus that causes AIDS.

The New York Times reports that "one million Americans have already been infected with the virus and this number will jump to at least 2 or 3 million within 5 to 10 years."

AZT, the first antiretroviral drug, becomes available to treat the HIV virus.

The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) is founded in New York City, a day after a stirring speech by activist and Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) founder Larry Kramer.

The “Silence = Death” project begins to appear on the streets of New York City.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan says the word “AIDS” in public for the first time.

December 1st is declared as World AIDS Day by The World Health Organization (WHO).

The U.S. FDA accelerates the drug approval process in response to demands by HIV/AIDS activists.

American art critic Douglas Crimp edits AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism for the influential journal October.

New York arts organization Visual AIDS initiates the first Day With (out) Art, an event where educators and arts administrators work in partnerships to program art projects that raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and demonstrate support for people living with the disease and their caregivers.

Artist Keith Haring dies from AIDS-related complications.

U.S. Congress enacts The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act.

U.S. Congress enacts the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against persons living with HIV.

The red ribbon becomes an international symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) all-star Magic Johnson publicly announces that he is HIV-positive.

Singer Freddie Mercury dies on November 24th, shortly after publicly disclosing his HIV-positive status.

The first combination drug therapies for HIV/AIDS are introduced. These "cocktails" prove to be more effective than AZT and slow down the development of drug resistance to the virus.

The CDC expands the definition of AIDS in response to criticism that the existing definition under-counts women and other populations living with the virus.

U.S. actor Tom Hanks wins an Oscar for his portrayal of a man living with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia, America’s first mainstream movie dealing with HIV/AIDS.

Invirase, the first HIV protease inhibitor is approved in the U.S.

Saquinavir, a new protease inhibitor, becomes available to treat HIV. Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) also becomes available. Within two years, death rates due to HIV/AIDS would plummet in the developed world.

AIDS activist and patient Jeff Getty becomes the first person to receive a bone-marrow transplant from a baboon, as an experimental procedure to treat HIV infection.

HIV/AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for Americans between 25 and 44 years old.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is established to coordinate a global response to the pandemic.

The first home HIV test is approved by the U.S. FDA.

French President Jacques Chirac invites other countries to create a fund that would help increase the number of HIV/AIDS studies and experiments.

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is founded by Zackie Achmat to campaign for greater access to HIV/AIDS treatments in South Africa.

Gugu Dlamini is stoned to death in Durban after bravely revealing her HIV-positive status on the radio, inspiring protests in South Africa and around the world.

First HIV human vaccine trial begins in Thailand.

Zackie Achmat announces the world’s first drug strike stating, “I will not take extensive treatment until all ordinary South Africans can get in on the public health system.”

The WHO estimates that 15 to 20% of new HIV infections are the result of blood transfusions.

The U.S. pledges $200 million dollars for HIV/AIDS relief in Africa.

The U.S. FDA licenses the first nucleic acid test (NAT) systems intended for the screening of blood and plasma donations.

South African President Thabo Mbeki rejects calls to declare HIV/AIDS a national emergency.

Data shows that the HIV/AIDS epidemic’s shift into poorer and marginalized sections of society continues.

The Clinton Foundation secures price reductions for generic HIV/AIDS drugs to benefit developing nations.

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan compares the “War on Terror” with the “War on AIDS.”

The CDC recommends anti-retroviral Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for people exposed to HIV through rape, accidents, or occasional unsafe sex or drug use.

June 5th marks a quarter century since HIV/AIDS’s first official case was reported.

“The Berlin Patient,” Timothy Ray Brown who was co-infected with myeloid leukemia and HIV, undergoes stem cell transplantation and is cured from HIV.

The WHO and UNAIDS recommend male circumcision to be considered as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy.

The Swiss National AIDS Commission issues a statement for doctors in Switzerland about the safety of HIV treatment to reduce transmission, stating that an HIV-positive person on effective HIV treatment (ART) cannot transmit HIV through sexual contact.

For the first time in Latin America, The 7th International AIDS Conference is held in Mexico City.

The Obama Administration lifts the HIV Travel Ban.

U.S. President Obama signs a comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law providing new health insurance coverage opportunities for millions of individuals in the U.S., including people living with HIV/AIDS.

U.S. Congress reinstates a decades-long ban on federal funding for needle exchanges only two years after eliminating the same ban.

The Oslo Declaration on HIV Criminalization, a ten-point declaration calling for the end of criminal prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, exposure, and unintentional transmission is drafted by activists and academics in Oslo.

UNAIDS reports that since 2005 deaths related to HIV/AIDS have declined by almost 30%.

A child thought to have cleared HIV with treatment, tests positive for HIV, a disappointing setback in the quest for a cure.

Findings from IPERGAY and PROUD studies show Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to be effective in reducing HIV transmission.

First organ transplant from HIV-positive donor to HIV-positive recipient conducted in the U.S.

The U.N. and partners announce pricing agreement to accelerate the availability of an affordable, generic, single-pill HIV treatment regimen in low and middle income countries.

There are approximately 37.9 million people living with HIV and 1.7 million people newly infected globally.

President Donald Trump announces his Administration’s goal to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States within 10 years.

In a medical breakthrough, the kidney of Nina Martinez, a 35-year-old HIV-positive woman is transplanted into another patient with the HIV virus.

U.S. Congresswoman Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, confronts drug company Gilead’s CEO about the high cost of HIV-prevention drug Truvada, advised by prominent HIV/AIDS activists.
HIV/AIDS key populations continue to include men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in prisons, sex workers and their clients, and transgender people.

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