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HIV/AIDS timeline

1959: Scientists isolate what is believed to be the earliest known case of AIDS. 1959
• Scientists isolate what is believed to be the earliest known case of AIDS. The discovery suggests that the multitude of global AIDS viruses all shared a common African ancestor within the past 40 to 50 years.

• The term AIDS (“acquired immune deficiency syndrome”) is used for the first time on July 27th.

• The first International Conference on AIDS is held in Atlanta.

• On April 2, President Reagan appeared before the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, to deliver his first “major speech” on AIDS, calling it public enemy number one.” Vice President George Bush is heckled when he calls for mandatory HIV testing.

• U.S. bans discrimination against federal workers with HIV.

• U.S. mails 107 million copies of “Understanding AIDS,” a booklet by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

• Ronald Reagan apologizes for his neglect of the epidemic while he was president (U.S.).

• Professional basketball player Magic Johnson tells the world he has HIV.

• A team of researchers determine HIV came from chimpanzees.

• Number of known deaths in U.S. during 1999 – 18,491.

• For the first time there are more women living with HIV disease in Africa than men.

• Nelson Mandela announces the death of his son from AIDS-related complications.

• The World Health Organization estimates 5.2 million people are receiving HIV treatment.

Source: AIDS Education Global Information System

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