Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of what is considered the “beginning of AIDS.” On June 3, 1981, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 5 cases of a rare pneumonia in otherwise healthy young homosexual men. A month later, another report identified 54 young gay men with a rare cancer. Soon, the underlying disease among these cases was named Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In 1983, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was identified as the virus that causes the disease.
Since then, AIDS has killed more than 25 million in the world, including over 600,000 in the United States. Today, 34 million people are living with HIV, including 1.2 million in the United States. So many challenges continue in fighting HIV/AIDS, such as expanding treatment and educating the public. Drugs are now available to combat HIV, but they are costly, and a cure continues to be sought for.
Marking the 30th Anniversary gives us the opportunity to acknowledge how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. At Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministry, we honor those we’ve lost along this journey, those who continue to teach us so much and those who have worked diligently to carry out our mission.
For more resources on the anniversary:
(Facts Source: Chicago Tribune, Sunday paper.)