June 5, 1981
(too old to reply)
2006-06-05 13:56:11 UTC
"In the period October 1980-May 1981, five young men, all active
homosexuals, were treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii
pneumonia at three different hospitals in Los Angeles, California. Two
of the patients died."

-- Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 6/5/1981

2006-06-05 14:21:51 UTC
San Francisco Chronicle


- Sabin Russell,
Chronicle Medical Writer
Sunday, June 4, 2006

On June 5, 1981, Dr. Michael Gottlieb, a young immunologist at the UCLA
School of Medicine, reported five cases of a rare pneumonia among gay
men in Los Angeles. Each had a profoundly depressed immune system. Two
were already dead.

His report in the weekly bulletin of the Centers for Disease Control was
the first medical description of what would come to be known as acquired
immune deficiency syndrome. It signaled the start of a global scourge
that has since killed 25 million. Today, a quarter-century later, it is
estimated that 38.6 million people are living with HIV, the virus that
causes AIDS.

Gottlieb had no idea that he had discovered a monster. "I thought this
might be bigger than Legionnaire's disease," he recalled, referring to
the discovery five years earlier of a previously unknown bacterium that
killed 29 attendees at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.

Soon after Gottlieb's paper appeared, similar accounts of Pneumocystis
carinii pneumonia were trickling in from gay neighborhoods in New York
and San Francisco. Those new reports also described outbreaks among gay
men of Kaposi's sarcoma, a rare skin cancer that caused disfiguring
purple lesions.

Amid the initial excitement of medical researchers on the trail of a new
disease, no one knew that 250,000 gay men in the United States were
already infected with HIV.

Twenty-five years later, the world is still playing catch-up. One
million Americans are living with HIV, but 25 percent of them do not
know it. Worldwide, 9 out of 10 people carrying the virus have yet to be
tested, according to estimates from UNAIDS, the United Nations program

The hidden toll is a grim tribute to the insidious nature of the human
immunodeficiency virus. A tiny package of just nine genes, HIV is a
lentivirus, or slow virus, that gradually degrades the immune system,
leaving the body vulnerable to fatal assaults from bacteria and other
viruses. HIV can leave a person healthy for 10 years, free to spread it
to others through sex or contaminated needles.

It was in San Francisco's bacchanalian gay culture of the early 1980s
that the virus fully demonstrated its capacity for chaos - silently
infecting close to half that community with a fatal, sexually
transmitted disease.

As scientists and doctors struggled to understand what was happening,
the unidentified virus raced ahead. In 1982 and 1983, the infection rate
within San Francisco's gay population was increasing at an astonishing
18 percent per year.

Since those first puzzling cases, at least 18,000 people in San
Francisco have died of the disease - six times the estimated toll of the
earthquake and fire 100 years ago.

Like most natural catastrophes, AIDS brought out the best and worst of
human nature.

"I saw incredible heroism," said Dr. Marcus Conant, a San Francisco
dermatologist who encountered some of the earliest Kaposi's sarcoma
cases. " I saw hundreds of gay men who stayed with their partners and
watched their loved ones die horribly, knowing they faced the same death
in a matter of months."

But Conant also encountered ugliness within his own profession, in his
own city.

"There were a lot of doctors who did not want 'those kind of patients'
in their waiting rooms," he said.

A disease that first emerged among marginalized groups - homosexual men,
prostitutes and injection-drug users - AIDS exploited social stigma
wherever it emerged. Instead of sympathy, AIDS often aroused contempt;
instead of compassionate care, it encouraged fear and neglect.

"This is the most political disease I have ever seen," said Dr. Mervyn
Silverman, who was director of the San Francisco health department when
AIDS emerged in 1981.

The city's signature encounter with AIDS in the 1980s would be replayed
elsewhere, again and again, as the virus spread around the globe.

"It is deja vu every time it hits a new country," said Dr. Anthony
Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases. "First it is denial: 'Nothing is happening.' Then it's
'someone else's problem.' Then it is, 'Oh my God, help us " Today,
entire countries in southern Africa are facing infection rates like
those endured in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood. In Botswana and
Swaziland, at least a quarter of adults are living with HIV.

It took the medical world an even longer time to wake up to AIDS in
Africa, where the epidemic had been smoldering for decades. New York
AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho would eventually find HIV in a sample of
blood from a patient in 1959 in what was then called the Belgian Congo.

European researchers had clues of the disease during the 1970s in a
spate of unexplained illnesses among Africans living in Europe.

In October 1983, Dr. Peter Piot, a Belgian tropical-disease specialist
who had seen some of those early European cases, led a team of
researchers to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa. At the Mamma Yemo
Hospital, he saw wards packed with emaciated, dying women.

"I knew this was really bad news," he said. "It looked like AIDS. We had
something heterosexual going on there."

A heterosexual AIDS epidemic was, in fact, exploding in Africa. It
followed soldiers in the bloody conflicts of the region, and along the
trucking routes, where prostitutes serviced long-distance haulers. It
spread to remote mining camps and squalid urban slums &mdash; where male
laborers from rural villages worked for months, had sex with infected
prostitutes and girlfriends, and then returned home to their wives.

When apartheid fell in South Africa in 1994, the previously isolated
nation opened its borders to the rest of Africa, and AIDS walked in,
too. Last year, 5.5 million South Africans - including 1 in 5 adults -
were believed to be HIV positive.

Piot eventually would be named executive director of UNAIDS. The agency
estimates today that there are 24.5 million people living with HIV in
sub- Saharan Africa. In 2005, the latest year for which statistics are
available, the region logged 2.7 million new infections, and 2 million
men, women and children died there of AIDS.

While AIDS roared unfettered through Africa, strategies to combat the
pestilence were evolving in the United States.

A new HIV test protected the nation's blood supply. San Francisco's gay
men dramatically altered their sexual behavior.
They used condoms, reduced their number of sex partners and avoided the
most dangerous practices such as unprotected receptive anal intercourse.
Infection rates plummeted. A grassroots network of volunteer
organizations melded with city and university clinics to provide the
sick and dying with care.

This "San Francisco model" was duplicated across the country and around
the world.

Epidemiologists experimented with needle-exchange programs to protect
injection-drug users. Activists battled for the rights of the infected,
for government aid and for a cure.

"AIDS has been a crucible that tested everybody," said Martin Delaney, a
business consultant who founded San Francisco's Project Inform in 1985.
"Out of that furnace came a new model of medical care and for funding
research for the development of drugs."

Still, the virus continued to race ahead of its pursuers.

AZT, the first AIDS antiviral, was approved by the Food and Drug
Administration in 1987. But doctors soon learned that the virus could
quickly develop resistance to it.

Activists pushed the FDA for speedier approval of experimental
medicines. With each new drug, patients bought time for the day when
something that really worked might come along. That day came in the
summer of 1996.

At the 11th International AIDS Conference in Vancouver, British
Columbia, scientists delivered the news that three-drug combinations of
newly developed antiviral drugs - particularly those using a new class
called protease inhibitors - could tame the relentless killer. Death
rates in Western nations that could afford the medicines soon fell by
more than half.

"We'd literally see people recover miraculously with these rugs," said
Dr. Paul Volberding, who ran the renowned AIDS program at San Francisco
General Hospital.

At the time, the new triple-drug regimes were called "cocktails." Today,
the common word is an acronym - HAART - for highly active antiretroviral
therapy. There are 27 distinct antiviral drugs or combinations sold in
the United States today.

For wealthy Western countries, HAART transformed the epidemic.

"I'll probably die from a heart attack or any of the various things that
run in my family," said Bob Katz, 55, a real estate appraiser in San
Francisco who has been infected with HIV for 25 years.

Yet early hope that HAART could eradicate the virus was misplaced.

Patients still developed drug resistance, and latent pools of infected
cells allow HIV to roar back when medicines are stopped.

Side effects such as lipodystrophy - the destruction of fat tissue in
the face and arms - have created a new face of AIDS: the hollowed cheeks
of many patients on HAART. There are lingering fears that the long-term
price of AIDS drugs may be cancer.

AIDS drug cocktails were nevertheless a reprieve for thousands and have
transformed HIV in developed nations from a death sentence into a
chronic medical condition.

Ross Woodall's life was saved by the drugs. In 1987, his doctor gave him
six months to live. The former travel agency vice president watched his
friends die by the dozens, but he weathered bouts of illness from bugs
that exploited his ruined immune system.

He eventually lost 95 pounds. He burned through every antiviral medicine
that came on the market. In 1998, the combination therapy turned his
health around. But side effects from years of antiviral medications have
drained the fat from his face and limbs, and he is legally blind from an
AIDS related viral infection.
At the age of 53, Woodall remains upbeat. He works part time as a travel
agent and volunteers for AIDS prevention and care programs.

"I've been to hell and back," he said. "If I can keep someone else from
going there, I'd like to do that."

Although modern medicine in the United States has caught up with HIV,
the virus maintains its edge in much of the rest of the world because
the drugs that saved lives here remain out of reach for the overwhelming
majority of people living with AIDS. They are just too expensive.

Yet there are signs of hope.

Driven by political activists demanding drugs for the poor, and by
Indian pharmaceutical companies that could make the new pills for less
than a dollar a day, a global movement for universal treatment of HIV
took wing in 2000.

Generic drugmakers could copy Western AIDS medicines without having to
recoup research, development and marketing costs. They could sidestep
Western patent law. They put AIDS drugs within reach, if the West would
only subsidize the cost. Politicians took note.

Since it was founded in 2002, the nonprofit, U.N.-inspired organization
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has provided $2
billion in assistance, and in 2003 President Bush began his own $15
billion overseas AIDS-relief effort.

Today, 1 million of the 6 million AIDS patients in the developing world
who need antiviral drugs are taking them. The push for treatment has
created for the first time an incentive for Africans to be tested for
the illness. Studies show that once people know they are HIV-positive,
they are less likely to spread the virus.

"For the first time in a quarter-century," said Piot, the UNAIDS
executive director, "we are in a position to get ahead of this epidemic.
But it is going to require an enormous and sustained effort."

Despite these signs, there is no vaccine and no cure. Safer-sex
behaviors have proved difficult to sustain. Ominously, in the United
States, the disease is burrowing into impoverished neighborhoods and
disproportionately affecting blacks. The CDC estimates that 40,000 new
infections occur in the United States each year, and increasingly they
are occurring among blacks and women.

Today, the harder edges of the local AIDS epidemic can be found in San
Francisco's homeless population. "It's still a mortal illness in the
Tenderloin," said Alexandra Monk, project coordinator for REACH &mdash;
Research into Access to Care for the Homeless. "We've lost over 100 in
the last four years."

DeShawn Patton, 41, said she has been HIV-positive for two decades. She
lives in a small and crowded hotel room off O'Farrell Street with her
boyfriend of six years, who is HIV-positive and has cancer.

Patton was born male, and grew up a gay teenager. Today, she lives her
life fully as a woman. "The hardest thing for my family is not that I
have AIDS but accepting me as transgender," she said.

Patton's health has been slipping. Her T-cell count - a measure of
infection-fighting white blood cells, has dipped to 119 - a healthy
number is 600 or more. She had a bout with pneumonia that sent her to
San Francisco General Hospital, but she bounced back, as she has all her

Around her, HIV still has a grip on the community in ways once seen in
the 1980s in the upscale Castro, just a few miles up Market Street.

In the Tenderloin, sickness and death rates are higher because of the
nature of life on the street, of substance abuse, poor diet, hepatitis C
and untreated mental illness.

Blood tests of the poor and homeless in the Tenderloin show that at
least 11 percent of that population is infected with HIV - a higher rate
than in Uganda, where the same UCSF researchers run an AIDS treatment

Dr. Brad Hare, medical director of the Positive Health Program at San
Francisco General Hospital, is Patton's physician.

When the AIDS epidemic was first described 25 years ago, Hare, 36, was
in elementary school.

Hare was a medical student at Duke when he saw his first AIDS patient, a
New York artist who had moved back to North Carolina to die. When the
patient recovered under treatment with the new AIDS drugs, Hare was
hooked. "That's why I went into medicine," he said.

Half the patients he treats at San Francisco General today are black or
Latino. They are often poor, living in ramshackle housing or in the
streets, and they are very sick.

"We still see people come into our hospital for their first test for
HIV, and they have pneumocystis pneumonia, cryptococcal meningitis and
10 Tcells," Hare said. "We still see people die of classic,
old-fashioned AIDS."

E-mail Sabin Russell at ***@sfchronicle.com

2006-06-05 14:46:27 UTC
The Associated Press
Thursday, June 1, 2006

San Franciscans honor those touched by AIDS

By Lisa Leff

SAN FRANCISCO =96 Clasping purple irises, calling out names and clapping
to a gospel beat, San Francisco paid tribute Thursday to the thousands
of residents who died from AIDS in the last 25 years and honored the
thousands more still living with the HIV virus.

About 200 people gathered in a performing arts center to hear elected
officials, AIDS activists and long-term survivors of the disease reflect
on the epidemic that was formally identified on June 5, 1981.

That was the date the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
published a paper about a mysterious illness that had been diagnosed in
five gay men in Los Angeles.
But few U.S. cities were as closely associated with the epidemic's worst
years as San Francisco, which, as of last month, reported 17,988 AIDS
deaths, or 22 percent of California's total.

"We took the biggest bite of this wormy apple that is AIDS, but we were
generous with what we learned," said U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who was
elected to Congress in 1987.

"I was in South Africa a few months ago visiting all these clinics, and
I saw San Francisco right there."

Reminders of the toll AIDS took here were obvious during Thursday's
service. As the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus prepared to perform,
director Kathleen McGuire noted the choir had lost 250 members to AIDS.

The event's tone, though, was mostly celebratory. Before inviting the
audience to stand up and shout out "a welcome" to the spirits of the
dead, the Rev. Yvette A. Flunder of City of Refuge United Church of
Christ reminded the audience to take pride in the model treatment
services and prevention programs the city provided.

"This is a praise party," Flunder said.

"This is a thank you celebration and a thank God celebration."

Pelosi recalled the fear and prejudice that accompanied AIDS in the
early years and cautioned that elected officials must not get complacent
about providing continued funds for research and prevention.

"I never thought we would be sitting and standing here 25 years later
still without a cure," she said.

Flunder later invited anyone who felt comfortable identifying themselves
as HIV-infected to join her on stage. More than 40 accepted, clasping
hands as the rest of the audience gave them a standing ovation and
joined in singing "We Shall Overcome."

"It's very humbling," said Ross Woodall, 53, who was diagnosed with HIV
in 1987 and is going blind from AIDS. "The people who are not here, to
honor their memories and make the best of this thing, that is my

2006-06-05 15:18:33 UTC
Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune
Saturday, June 3, 2006

"Our first question was, 'when are we
gonna die?'"

Twenty-five years and 450,000 American lives ago Monday, a young New
York City man picked up the Daily News on the way to his Wall Street

"I remember the headline said 'Gay Plague' right on the front page,"
says Michael Kehoe, now living with AIDS in Sarasota. "But I never
thought it would affect my life."

Nobody could have expected the stealth-missile power of the illness that
the Centers for Disease Control identified on June 5, 1981.

AIDS would become a global pandemic third only to the 70 million dead
from Bubonic Plague in the 14th century and the 70 million lives lost to
influenza in 1918.

More than 25 million have died so far from AIDS. Another 40 million are
now infected with HIV.

As it passes the quarter century mark, AIDS has changed the world.

But first it changed lives.

"I never thought I would even know anyone with AIDS, except maybe a
patient," says Debbie Sergi-Laws, who was a nursing student in the
Midwest in 1981, eight years before her own diagnosis as HIV positive.

"I ignored it totally," remembers Joe Howey, a Michigan librarian and
museum curator in 1981, looking forward to early retirement in Florida
with his partner, who died of AIDS a year after their move to Sarasota.

"It'll never be me," thought Dante Gilliam, just 20 at the time, working
double shifts at a Sun Bank in Sarasota and nights at the old Brown
Derby Restaurant.

Twenty-five years later, the common bond of AIDS brought these four
people together with Herald-Tribune staff writer Bill Hutchinson at the
offices of the Community AIDS Network in downtown Sarasota.

An edited transcript of their conversation follows.

In the beginning

Joe: By the time we came to Sarasota, (my partner) Lou had been sick off
and on for a long time, but we never made the connection. In 1985, he
ended up in Venice Hospital with pneumonia, and I finally found a doctor
who would talk to me about what was going on, and this doctor whispered
to me in the hallway that this was that gay disease. Back then you

When Lou died, I told people he had brain cancer. And then when I tested
positive for the disease, I kept it to myself. You just did not disclose
it even to good friends. Because you lost them all.

Michael: I went to be tested with eight friends, down behind Burns
Court. When my friends asked me how I was, how did everything turn out,
I said I was fine, the test was negative.

Debbie: My husband and I were trying to have a family, so he decided to
get additional life insurance. He had blood work done, we didn't think
twice, and after that we went on a two-week vacation to Hawaii. We were
young and healthy and we didn't have a care in the world.

When we got back we had a letter that said he had been denied insurance,
but they didn't tell us why. Then they told us and nobody believed it,
not even the doctors, who kept saying it's got to be a mistake, it can't
be, so he was tested and retested, and then they decided to test me, and
that's when we found out,
February 8 of 1989, that we were both HIV positive. Actually he had
full-blown AIDS.

When we found out that we were positive, our first question was, "When
are we gonna die?" Because that's all we knew about this disease.

Dante: I couldn't tell no one, no one. And then when I did, there were a
lot of friends that just walked away.

Joe: I can't tell you the number of times back in the late '80s and
early '90s I would go to the bus station to pick a young teenager up, or
a person in their early '20s, whose families had sent them here. They
had heard about HIV services here. They would ship them down here with a
suitcase, no money, and being told, do not contact us, we no longer want
you in the family.

I also saw hundreds who were thrown out of their apartments, disowned by
their families, losing jobs, because they had let it be known that they
had HIV. It was rampant.

Debbie: I was fired twice and it shocked me because I thought the very
people who would support me, the medical community, would be there for
me. It hurt. Mostly it was the hurt.

An awful reality

Debbie: I was living at this time in Williamsburg, Va. -- colonial
America, not the epicenter of AIDS information. So I ended up calling
all the AIDS hotlines. I was calling Miami, San Francisco and New York
City, because those were the only places where you could get
information. And I remember using the RN behind my name as my reason for
wanting information. That made it safer for me. It wasn't me who had
this disease. It was a patient.

Joe: I made friends in the HIV community here in Sarasota, because you
needed to. That was the only way to get information. Dinners at St.
Martha's Church in town, every Monday night, you'd get sometimes 200
people there -- patients, families, medical and support people who
played key roles in providing information directly from Washington.

Of course, back then there were lots of wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and
many people looked like they were right out of the concentration camps
-- truly sad, heart-wrenching, two or three funerals every single week.

I remember one Mother's Day someone scanned the crowd around the pool
with a video camera and I looked at it not long ago and I don't think
there are four or five of us alive today.

Michael: Friday night did not go by when you did not hear, someone else
died, or someone's in the hospital and it doesn't look like he's gonna
make it.

New drugs, new hope

Joe: As the drugs started to trickle out, every one was going to be the
savior and every one turned out to be a disappointment, over and over
again, so by 1996 we'd been through this so many times there was a lot
of guarded optimism, particularly among those who had the disease. It
was, yeah, this is just another one of those. Not a big deal. It's
probably not going to work.

Two years later, we see that it is working.

As a matter of fact, they call it the Lazarus effect, those being
brought back from the brink of death, and it was absolutely true.

They would come in 1996 in wheelchairs, on crutches, barely able to
stand up, pale as sheets and sick, sick, sick, two years later they're
back on their feet, able to work, getting off disability. Absolutely
amazing -- a total turn-around.

Debbie: I was driving home from my doctor in Bradenton (in 1997) and I
remember exactly where I was. I was driving through the Meadows and I
was at a stoplight and I just started to cry. It was tears of joy, that
I've got something that might be the answer, and it was tears of sadness
that (my late husband) Frank didn't live long enough to have the chance.

Mike: If you have access to the right drugs, it's a manageable disease
now. It's not the death threat that it was in the 1980s.

Joe: Well, in many states to this day we have long waiting lists.
They're dying. Can't get the meds.

Dante: I was on a medication that was working real good and then all of
a sudden I was taken off the medication because Medicaid didn't want to
pay for it.

The price

Joe: OK, let's look at this manageable disease that I've had now for 20
years. What about the side effects? What about that good old diarrhea
that no one likes to talk about, that keeps you isolated inside your
home many times? The headaches? The insomnia? The nausea, the vomiting?
Let's not forget these pretty things that come right along with this. We
all count our good days. But there are plenty of bad ones.

Debbie: If it were a simple matter of just taking two pills -- and some
of us take two pills now, as opposed to 75 -- that would be one thing.
But look at everything in your life and everything that you ever wanted
and all of your dreams to be taken away from you and you have to
re-adjust and find a different path and find a different way of going on
with your life, because what you thought was going to be your life,
won't be.

Joe: I would like to encourage people to get tested. Here in Sarasota
County we are averaging about 8 to 10 new patients every month. That
tells us that it's still out there. It's estimated that hundreds if not
thousands of people in Sarasota and Manatee counties are HIV positive
and do not know it. And it's all age groups, from teenagers to retirees
and nursing home patients. We have had many over the last few years in
their 60s and 70s and 80s, so nursing homes can be a busy place too.

Debbie: I think women still believe this can not happen to them. I can't
tell you how many women I've met who are pregnant and when I ask them if
they've had an HIV test and they say no. You're pregnant. You must have
had unprotected sex. That's a risk. There is no safe sex.
Life changing

Dante: The question is often asked of me, you know, Dante, if you
(could) go back and live the way you were before you got HIV-AIDS, would
you? Personally I would say no. Because there's one thing this disease
has taught me, it has taught me to be more appreciating of life. It
really has given me comfort to know that people aren't afraid anymore.
Police officers, SCAT bus drivers, young people see me now, and they
say, wow, you're still kicking it. The love and support I have now from
friends I didn't have that before.

Michael: I'm the person I am today because I'm HIV positive. I've met a
phenomenally good group of people. I've been blessed to help people.
Where would I be today if I hadn't been HIV positive? I can't answer
that. I can only be grateful for where I am today.

Debbie: I would like to say that I'd give it away in a heart beat. And
then all of a sudden I realize if I give away AIDS I'm giving away the
people in my life I have right now. My mother told me when I was first
diagnosed -- actually two years later, because I hadn't told her right
away -- she said something good will come of this.

And I thought, how can a mother say something like this? You've just
found out you have a disease that's going to kill you and she says
something good's going to come of this. You know, that's a mom. That's a
mom. But she was right.

2006-06-05 16:04:40 UTC
San Francisco
Friday, June 2, 2006

AIDS Virus Marks 25 Years

-Hank Plante

(CBS 5) SAN FRANCISCO 1981 in San Francisco. It was a party in the gay
community that seemed to have no end.

After years of fighting for sexual freedom, liberation was finally at

But there was an unknown guest at the party back then ... a guest moving
in as silently as the fog. It was a virus.

On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control published a report
about a strange outbreak of pneumonia among five gay men in Los Angeles.
Soon it had a name ... AIDS.

Cases were also appearing in San Francisco, where Cleve Jones set up a
Gay Cancer hotline in the Castro District.

"People forget now how God awful it was." said Jones. "It was
terrifying, especially the first few years before they identified the
virus. And then the disappearances of people ... you know, you'd see
somebody on the street they'd look skinny or pale and then you'd never
see them again." Cleve Jones went on to start the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Across town, a young doctor named Paul Volberding started his new job at
San Francisco General. "I remember my first case. Literally, my first
day on the job at San Francisco General on July 1, 1981," said Dr.
Volberding. "My first day, I saw the first Kaposi (Sarcoma) patient
admitted to the hospital."

The early caregivers fought courageously against an unknown enemy.

"It was before body substance precautions," said Volberding. "So we
touched people, we took blood without gloves, we examined patients
without gloves routinely, and the fear then was really, really striking
because we didn't know whether we'd already been infected ... so I and
many of us working with this disease had a period when we were very,
very afraid."

The disease spread rapidly through the community, often silently, until
it hit a celebrity.

At first, Rock Hudson's publicist denied that Hudson had AIDS, telling
reporters he was hospitalized for fatigue.

Other cases made news: the young Florida family burned out of their home
because the hemophiliac children had AIDS. Acts of courage like young
Ryan White, who fought a battle for kids with AIDS to attend public

And then, a famous athlete.

The announcement by Magic Johnson that he had HIV stunned the world.

Few places have been hit as hard as San Francisco, as a Memorial in the
Castro District attests. It marks 25 years of the disease - and it marks
the 18,000 San Franciscans who have died, and the 15,000 who are living
with HIV today.

The city's gay community came together early help its own. The
volunteers and services that sprang up around AIDS became known as the
'San Francisco model' of caregiving.

And the science also moved quickly. The first drug was AZT, and since it
had to be taken every four hours, it came in a case that beeped. The AZT
beep became this city's mantra - you could hear it everywhere from the
cable cars to the streets.

Soon, better drugs came along. But the so-called 'AIDS cocktails' were
cumbersome, sometimes requiring up to 30 pills a day.

Now, two drug companies have applied to release the first one-a-day pill
for AIDS patients.

Then there is the most mysterious research of all.

UCSF's Dr. Jay Levy has spent this past 25 years studying people like
this Kai Brothers, who has had HIV since the beginning, but never any

"What was fascinating to me was certain individuals who were coming to
see us who never got sick," said Dr. Levy. "And when we looked for
virus, we can find virus in the white cells or the blood in that person
but its very difficult. It was in that very early period of the 80s that
we discovered something that was really unexpected. First, that there is
the ability of an individual to control the virus."

"All I know is or what I know or what I believe is that there is
something genetically different with my cells, my T-cells and my immune
system which is able to keep the virus from multiplying and spreading
within my body," said Brothers. "It's been there. "It's been there for
25 years but for whatever reason genetically, my immune system can keep
it at bay."

Cases such as Brothers' have scientists hoping they can unlock a natural
immunity to AIDS in other patients. "We want these people who are
infected to regain control of the virus in their body like Kai or like a
few others, several others who are studied who don't need the drugs,"
said Dr. Levy.

"They are taking the virus and controlling it with their own immune
system. How could we do that? Let's find this factor. We might have to
give them something once a month to keep that factor produced. And then
they can remain a long-term survivor, as we call them, and live
perfectly fine life."

An amazing sign of hope, as AIDS enters its second quarter century.

2006-06-05 16:46:50 UTC
Medical News Today
Monday, June 5, 2006

CDC MMWR Examines 25 Years Of HIV/AIDS In The U.S.

"Twenty-Five Years of HIV/AIDS: United States, 1981-2006," Morbidity and
Mortality Weekly Report: The report examines the state of the HIV/AIDS
epidemic in the U.S. since CDC in 1981 first reported on five cases of a
rare strain of pneumonia in five men in Los Angeles.

[ "Twenty-Five Years of HIV/AIDS: United States, 1981-2006":
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5521a1.htm ]

The report includes sections on successes in HIV prevention; remaining
challenges in the domestic fight against the disease; the epidemiology
of HIV/AIDS in the U.S; the success in reducing mother-to-child HIV
transmission; and the evolution of HIV prevention programs.

According to the report, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. have died
of AIDS-related causes since 1981, and more than one million are living
with HIV/AIDS (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 6/2).

2006-06-05 17:11:09 UTC
The Eureka Reporter
Eureka CA
Sunday, June 4, 2006

AIDS: 1981-2006

by Carol Harrison

"It's frightening because no one knows what's causing it," said a
28-year-old law student complaining of swollen glands.

"Every week, a new theory comes out about how you're going to spread
=96New York Times, August 8, 1982

"It" was acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS, the scourge of the
gay population that the Centers for Disease Control first diagnosed 25
years ago today as a "rare pneumonia."

The illness had shown up in five gay men in Los Angeles. There were 200
cases reported by the end of that year, but it wasn't until it began
showing up in children and blood transfusion recipients in December 1982
that public perception turned.

According to Harold Jaffe of the CDC, "Up until then it was entirely a
gay epidemic and it was easy for the average person to say, 'So what?'
Now everyone can relate."

Charles Vaughn related from the beginning. Currently the HIV-Hepatitis C
Coordinator for the Open Door Community Health Center, Vaughn lived in
San Francisco from 1975 to 1996.

"I was there at the beginning, and it was part of the reason we left San
Francisco," he said. "It wasn't quite as pretty as when we moved there."

Vaughn is a registered nurse who was on the front lines in AIDS
treatment. After working at an infusion center to administer drugs that
couldn't be given orally, he shifted to hospice work and lost friend
after friend.

"I don't even know how many," he said softly. "At the San Francisco
Library, as a part of a donation, we had a memorial plaque. We just said
'to the memory of the many.' The Bay Area Reporter had a significant
obituary page."

By 1991, the CDC estimated 1 million people in the U.S. were infected
with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. The World Health Organization put
the number at 10 million worldwide and one very famous Los Angeles
Laker, Magic Johnson, admitted he was HIV positive.

For a long time, it was war with an unknown enemy. By the end of 1981,
the term "gay cancer" had become Gay-Related Immune Deficiency and 200
cases had been reported.

"They called it GRID," Vaughn said. "I can remember standing on a corner
at 18th and Castro talking with a group of men and wondering who was
going to get it next."

Six months later, the CDC called it an epidemic. Cases were doubling
every six months and by the end of 1983, there were 1,112 cases reported
nationally and 176 of them were in San Francisco.

"There was a lot of stigma attached," recalled Vaughn as he reflected on
the past quarter century. "Look how far we've come. With no other
disease entity have we come so far, so fast. We haven't made those kinds
of strides with hypertension, heart disease or cancer."

Not in the early going. San Francisco ended 1984 with 826 AIDS cases and
369 dead.

"Without treatment, most people who contracted HIV went on to develop
AIDS and died, probably within two years," Vaughn said.

He recalled treatment as being "symptomatic management of opportunistic

People died when the convergence of infections became too much to

The years between 1985 and 1987 were tumultuous as most insurance
companies denied coverage to HIV-positive people, blood banks began
testing donations and San Francisco closed its gay bathhouses.

Rock Hudson became the first known public figure to die of AIDS and a
hemophiliac boy, Ryan White, invaded the public conscience. He
contracted the HIV virus from a transfusion and was banned from
attending classes by school officials.
In 1987, Liberace died, the Names Project Quilt went to Washington and
the United Nations committed itself to fighting the spread of the global

It was the fifth year of Ronald Reagan's presidency and the first time
he addressed AIDS. While the San Francisco AIDS count grew to 3,785 with
2,236 dead, Reagan left sex education up to schools and parents.

"But let's be honest with ourselves," he said. "AIDS information can not
be what some call 'value neutral.' After all, when it comes to
preventing AIDS, don't medicine and morality teach the same lessons?"

"Today in public health, prevention is less about how to stay negative
and more about how to teach people to keep from spreading the disease to
the people they love," said Vaughn.

It was hard for Vaughn to assess the progress when he was going through
it and easier to put it in perspective now.

"Gay men became politically active, and it was a social reaction and a
treatment issue reaction," Vaughn said. "The medical community looked at
it as the grandfather of all plagues, and we had to look at it as a
global issue because it was wiping out entire generations in places like

It wasn't until 1994 that AZT became the standard of care, the same year
the CDC released television ads encouraging condom use to prevent the
spread of HIV.

"AZT slowed it down, but it wasn't effective," Vaughn said. "Now we have
four classes of drugs used in concert, or in the 'cocktail' as it's
called. If the given treatment is adhered to, people are doing quite
well for a long period of time.

"Coming down the pike are two or three more classes of medications that
are showing promise in clinical research trials."

Vaughn warns that all medications have side effects and recommends that
even though the disease is no longer seen as a death sentence, people
"should think twice about their exposure risks."

That's because the long-term impact of HIV has yet to be determined.

"There are people infected 25 years ago doing fine today and there are
others whose immune systems have been totally devastated," he said.
"What we're having to look at today is what is aging and what is HIV?
Some of the conferences we go to now are about aging and HIV and how to
ascertain what's what. HIV can cause a lot of things that mimic aging."

For more information about the 25th anniversary of AIDS, visit
www.kff.org/hivaids/aidsat25.cfm or

2006-06-05 17:21:46 UTC
U.S. Department of State comments:

Anniversary Without Celebration Recognizes 25 Years of AIDS

2006-06-05 17:41:59 UTC
BET / Black Entertainment Television
Monday, June 5, 2006

Is AIDS in America Now a Black Disease?

By Renee D. Turner and Tracy Stokes,
BET.com Staff Writers

How did AIDS go from a strange illness discovered among five White gay
patients at University of California Los Angeles 25 years ago to a
disease that=E2=80=99s devastating many African American families?

The answers are revealed in AIDS in Black Face:=A0 25 Years of an
Epidemic, a sweeping analytical study released at a news conference in
New York by the Los Angeles-based Black AIDS Institute.

And Black Entertainment Television has joined the Institute and a number
of committed key Black leaders and celebrities who have banded together
to lead a new call to action surrounding the release of the study.

"The AIDS story in America is mostly one of a failure to lead," said
Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks.

"BET is proud to stand with the Black AIDS Institute and other leaders
in calling on Black leaders and organizations to step forward. Whether
as opinion shapers or industry titans, we all must use our positions to
help build a mass grassroots community movement to end HIV/AIDS."

More than half of those diagnosed with HIV are Black, up from 25 percent
in 1986, although Blacks account for about 12 percent of the population,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About
one-third of new infections are transmitted heterosexually, up from 3
percent in 1985, the CDC reports, and Black women and Black gay men are
especially at risk.

"In 2006, AIDS in America is a Black disease," said Phill Wilson,
executive director of the Black AIDS Institute.

"The only way for AIDS to be over in America is for AIDS to be over in
Black America, and the only way to stop AIDS in Black America is for
Black people to take ownership of the disease and mount a mass Black

AIDS in Black Face:=A0 25 Years of an Epidemic, penned under the
guidance of the Black AIDS Institute, looks at how a strange illness
among five White gay patients at UCLA became the defining issue of our
time, and its disproportionate impact on African Americans.

When scientists diagnosed the first AIDS case in the United States a
quarter-century ago, they predicted its devastating potential. But no
one could have calculated just how deadly the disease would be.

Since 1981, at least 65 million people have been infected with HIV
worldwide and more than 25 million have died, reports the Joint United
Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). And now, the disease is one of
the leading causes of death among African Americans.

AIDS in Black Face:=A0 25 Years of an Epidemic features the testimonies
of 25 African Americans who have witnessed the devastation of the AIDS
epidemic from the frontline.=A0 They are people who in ways both large
and small have decided to change the course of the epidemic.

In addition to the report's release nationwide, the newly mobilized call
to action and declaration of commitment was unveiled to re-ignite
efforts around awareness, prevention, research, medical treatment and
the pursuit of a cure.=A0

Celebrities from across entertainment genres will join the effort along
side leaders from the political, corporate and national organization

"For Black America, the moment of truth has arrived,"=9D said actor
Danny Glover, a long-time AIDS activists and humanitarian.

"If we are to survive the AIDS epidemic, we are going to have to gather
all of our resources and marshal them for the political struggles that
lay ahead."

2006-06-05 17:59:35 UTC
Monday, June 5, 2006

Why did we wait so long to report AIDS?
Epidemic got a year's head start on
slow-to-react network newscasts
NBC News


-Robert Bazell
Chief science and health correspondent
NBC News

It is a chronicle of abysmal failure punctuated with occasional
astounding acts of bravery and dedication.

No one could have known in 1981 when the CDC first detailed the cases of
the "5 young men, all active homosexuals," with a rare pneumonia (two of
whom had died) that the report heralded a plague with 25 million dead
and an estimated 65 million infected worldwide so far.

When doctors at UCLA first connected those five cases - diagnosed from
October 1980 to May 1981 - and contacted the CDC, the seeds for a
massive worldwide crisis were well in place. But the numbers of
infections and deaths could have been far fewer.

In my own reporting, an entire year passed from that first CDC report
until I did the first story on evening network news. By then, the
condition, still not called AIDS, had afflicted just over 400 Americans
and killed 100.

Why did we delay so long?

Other things seemed more important on the science and medicine beat: the
attempts to implant an artificial heart; the follow up to the eruption
of Mt. St. Helens the year before; and dozens of other stories that seem
trivial in hindsight.

Keeping it quiet

The reluctance of the gay community to scream for help also played a big
role in the lack of coverage. Gay men were just winning freedom from
repression and many saw the disease as an attempt by society to return
to the days when homosexuals could be arrested for simply being in a
public place together. Many wanted to keep the whole thing quiet even as
they watched their friends die. The famous activist Larry Kramer
eloquently described this time in his 1985 play "The Normal Heart."

That June 5, 1981 report said the infections were likely caused by "some
aspect of a homosexual lifestyle or disease acquired through sexual

At the beginning, there was the suspicion that some drug might be
responsible. Inhalants known as 'poppers' used for stimulants were at
the center of one common hypothesis.

But a year of intense work by CDC medical detectives left no doubt. In
June, 1982 they concluded that the world faced "a new, deadly sexually
transmitted disease." A month later it got the name: AIDS.

From then on a few medical reporters picked up the story on a regular

But there was little governmental response.=A0 President Ronald Reagan
famously refused to say the word "AIDS" for six-and-a-half years.=A0

In contrast, President George W. Bush's recent speech on the threat of
pandemic influenza shows how effective leadership can focus the nation's
attention and resources on a health danger.=A0

Pattern of denial

Meanwhile, in much of the gay community, the denial continued, with few
efforts to encourage safe sex. What a tragedy!

Samples of blood taken from gay men show that most of those who got
infected in this country acquired the virus in 1983 and 1984. Lack of
action squandered the opportunity to save hundreds of thousands of lives
in the U.S. alone

The pattern of denial and lack of political leadership spread throughout
the world along with the virus.=A0 Fear and blame accounted for much of
the response.

2006-06-05 18:35:03 UTC
Los Angeles Times
Monday, June 5, 2006


A War of Attrition With Virus
With hope for a vaccine fading and
research at a stalemate, it's now a battle
to get drugs to the most vulnerable
By Thomas H. Maugh II and Jia-Rui Chong
Times Staff Writers

A quarter-century after the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, the rapid
pace of scientific discovery has slowed to a crawl.

The early years of the epidemic were a sprint, as researchers isolated
the virus that causes AIDS, developed rapid tests for the virus and
found drugs that could block its replication — culminating 10 years
ago in the introduction of drug cocktails that made long-term survival

Researchers were confident that an AIDS vaccine — perhaps even a cure
— was just around the corner.

But that optimism evaporated as scientists began to untangle the
mysteries of a virus far more intractable than any they had encountered

At least 96 U.S.-sponsored vaccine trials are underway, but experts
agree that none is likely to yield a useful product.

Potential vaginal microbicides, which would allow women more control
over their own risk of infection, remain out of reach.

Although new drugs are entering the marketplace, they are the result of
old research.

"The low-hanging fruits have all been picked … and we still face huge
challenges," said Dr. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center
in New York.

"This is not because of a lack of effort or because of a lack of money.
It's just a fundamental problem posed by HIV."

Federal funding for HIV/AIDS research and treatment has grown from $200
million in 1985 to $21.7 billion this year.

UCLA's Dr. Andrew Saxon, one of the first to report the observation of
the new disease 25 years ago, on June 5, 1981, added: "I don't think
anyone appreciated how clever and difficult this virus could be…. I
thought we would have had a vaccine by now and we would be entering the
age of forgetfulness" about AIDS, just as the world has with smallpox
and polio.

International agencies have been making strides in bringing drug therapy
to poor areas and in developing prevention tools, but when it comes to
fundamental research, "frankly, there isn't much new," said Dr. Jay Levy
of UC San Francisco, who has studied the disease since it was

"Aside from the terrible spread of the epidemic, there is simply not
much news on the horizon."


World's No. 4 Cause of Death

In the United States, more than half a million people have died from
complications arising from AIDS since 1981, and an estimated 15,000 will
die this year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. More than 1 million people in the U.S. are living with the
virus, and 40,000 become infected each year.

The character of the epidemic has changed as well. A disease that once
primarily struck gay white men and intravenous drug users has now
largely become a plague of the poor and black.
African Americans, who make up about 13% of the U.S. population, account
for half of new U.S. infections and a third of deaths. Black males are
seven times as likely as white males to be infected with HIV; black
females are 20 times as likely to be infected as white females.

Worldwide, the numbers are grimmer.

At least 25 million people have died from AIDS, and 2.8 million will die
this year, according to the World Health Organization.

An estimated 38.6 million people carry the virus, and an additional 4.1
million are infected each year in what Dr. Kevin Fenton, head of AIDS
programs at the CDC, called "one of the deadliest epidemics in human

The infection rate has slowed in a few countries, but population growth
continues to fuel a rise in the number of total infections, according to
data released last week by UNAIDS.

Only heart disease, stroke and respiratory infections kill more people
worldwide each year.

"It is difficult to reflect back on the last 25 years, to understand how
something that began so slowly and quietly and silently can now be the
No. 4 cause of death in the world," Fenton said.

The epidemic has changed the world, making sex an activity to be feared,
ruining the economies of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, leaving
millions of children parentless — and often infected themselves —
and draining billions of dollars that could have been spent alleviating
other afflictions.

"We are the last generation to know what life in a world without AIDS
was really like," said Dr. James Curran, who was among the first at the
CDC to study the disease and is now dean of Emory University's Rollins
School of Public Health.


A Virus That Lies in Wait

Technically, AIDS has been around a lot longer than 25 years.

The human immunodeficiency virus is a mutated form of an ape virus that
has presumably infected chimpanzees and other primates for possibly
thousands of years. Most researchers believe the virus mutated and
crossed into the human population from close contact between the two
species, perhaps when hunters captured and ate the animals.

Genetic comparisons of all AIDS strains collected around the world,
performed by geneticist Bette Korber at the Los Alamos National
Laboratory, show that the jump occurred about 70 years ago, most likely
in Cameroon. People have been dying of AIDS in Africa for the better
part of a century, but scientists weren't aware of it until Americans
began to succumb.

In early 1981, Saxon and Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb at UCLA, along with
others in Los Angeles, began to see sporadic cases of an unusual form of
pneumonia caused by a fungus, Pneumocystis carinii. That rare pneumonia
had previously been observed only in patients with immune systems
ravaged by leukemia. None of the new patients had cancer.

People elsewhere around the country were also seeing the infections, but
UCLA was in a unique position to understand the disease because
immunologists Dr. Howard Schanker and Dr. Robert Schroff were studying a
kind of immune cell called a T cell.

"Nobody else [in the country] was measuring T cells," Saxon said. But
when Schanker and Schroff measured white blood cells in the pneumocystis
patients, "they were dramatically off the wall. It was a big wow!"

An extremely low concentration of the T cells now known as CD4 cells is
considered the defining characteristic of AIDS.

The team rushed their findings into print, publishing an announcement in
the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that five gay men had
been observed with an unusual form of pneumonia and severely impaired
immune systems.

A month later, CDC researchers reported 24 cases of a rare cancer called
Kaposi's sarcoma among gay men with impaired immune systems.

In 1983, Dr. Robert Gallo of the federal National Cancer Institute and
Dr. Luc Montagnier and virologist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi of the
Pasteur Institute in France reported that the disease, by then called
acquired immune deficiency syndrome, was caused by a retrovirus.
Like many other viruses, the genetic information of retroviruses is
encoded in RNA rather than the DNA found in human cells. Unlike other
RNA viruses, however, the AIDS virus is able to insert its genetic
information into the genome of the cell it infects.

Researchers were woefully unprepared for the discovery, Saxon said. "You
could count on your thumbs the number of antiviral drugs available," he
said. Researchers "hadn't really dealt with retroviruses before HIV.
They were medical curiosities that only caused rare diseases."

The problems that bedeviled researchers then are the same as now.

The main obstacle is the virus' ability to integrate into CD4 cells,
which normally orchestrate the body's immune response to an infection.
"HIV is a finely tuned guided missile" that attacks the core of the
immune system, said Dr. Warner Greene of the UCSF Gladstone Institute of
Virology and Immunology.

Drugs in the bloodstream can kill off all the virus floating freely, but
they can't touch the virus inside the immune cells. Inevitably, those
hidden viruses reemerge.

When the virus mutates slightly, as it has an astonishing propensity to
do, it escapes from the cells and starts a new round of destruction.

"In the whole history of vaccinology, in the whole history of virology,
this is the first virus that can do that," said virologist Frederic
Tangy of the Pasteur Institute.

The key for a vaccine would be to intercept all invading virus before it
could attack CD4 cells — a "sterilizing" vaccine.
But researchers don't know how to do that, Greene said.

HIV has a coat of sugars and frequently mutating amino acids that
effectively hide it from antibodies that would destroy it. "It's almost
like you are watching a 'Star Wars' force shield protecting a station,"
said Dr. Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center.

Researchers do not know how to break through that barrier.

"We will not have [a vaccine] in the foreseeable future," Ho concluded.
Vaccines now being tested will help point them toward better ones, but
none is likely to help stop the spread of the disease, he said.

The mutability of the virus is also a major impediment to drug

Twenty-five drugs are approved for treating HIV infections, but some
patients have grown resistant to virtually all of them. Nationwide,
about 15% of HIV-positive people are resistant to the majority of the
drugs, and in Los Angeles County, 21% are, said Brian Risley of AIDS
Project Los Angeles.

New drugs can often overcome that resistance — at least temporarily
— but it is a constant race to stay ahead of the curve, he said.

Drugs are not going to be the long-term answer in any case, said UCSF's

"These drugs are toxic and have to be taken for a lifetime," he said.
"We couldn't do that with chemotherapy for cancer, and I am not sure
that we can for HIV."

Levy and others have been looking for naturally occurring chemicals,
called chemokines, in white blood cells that give a few people an innate
immunity to HIV.

"Nature has revealed to us situations in which people have survived the
infection, and we have to learn from that," he said.
But he has been trying for the better part of the last quarter-century
to learn how nature does that, so far without success.


Some Bright Spots

Despite the gloom about fundamental research, there is some positive
news, particularly about drugs and prevention.

The antiretroviral drug "cocktail," which 10 years ago was 20 or more
pills a day, is now down to two or three. A new combination drug,
expected to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration this year,
will combine three drugs into one daily pill.

The FDA is also expected to approve a new member of a class of drugs
known as protease inhibitors, which were introduced a decade ago and
made long-term survival possible. Darunavir, also known as TMC114,
differs in structure from other protease inhibitors, and clinical trials
indicate it will overcome the resistance problems associated with those

The company that makes darunavir — Tibotec Inc. of Yardley, Pa. —
has a drug called TMC125 in an early phase of testing. It may overcome
resistance in the class of drugs known as reverse transcriptase
inhibitors. And Merck & Co. makes MK-0518, an experimental drug
completing human testing that blocks an enzyme used by the virus to
replicate inside cells.

Earlier this year, Dr. Thomas Quinn of Johns Hopkins University in
Baltimore reported encouraging results on the effects of circumcision on
AIDS transmission in a study of 12,000 men in Uganda. The effects of
circumcision on AIDS transmission have been a controversial topic, with
several small studies yielding conflicting results.

Quinn's team found that circumcision reduced the risk of HIV infection
by 50% in men overall and by 70% in those at highest risk — although
how it does so is not yet clear.

"If we were getting those kind of results with a vaccine, we would be
pouring money into it to rush it into use right away," said Dr. Kevin M.
De Cock, director of the World Health

Organization's Department of HIV/AIDS.
Similar trials are now proceeding in two other African countries, De
Cock said, and preliminary results could be available by the end of the

In the absence of a vaccine, drugs might be used for prevention.

Monkey tests reported this year indicated that a combination of the
drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine, sold together as Truvada, blocked new
infections when given daily — even when the animals were exposed to
very high doses of HIV.

Safety and efficacy trials are in progress in the U.S., Botswana and

Some physicians are now prescribing Truvada to high-risk patients.

De Cock, for one, is confident that the pace of research on the virus
will pick up again.

"In the 25 years of the history of AIDS, there have been surges of
progress in one area of science, then later in another," he said.
"That's just how it goes."

2006-06-05 19:01:18 UTC
San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, June 4, 2006





-- On June 5, the CDC reports five cases in Los Angeles of a rare
pneumonia among five gay men.

-- In July, the CDC reports 26 cases of a rare cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma,
among gay men in New York and California.

-- New York author Larry Kramer organizes fundraiser for what is to
become Gay Men's Health Crisis.
San Francisco

-- The Chronicle publishes its first story about the epidemic on June 6.



-- Activists launch the Kaposi's Sarcoma Foundation, later to become the
San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

-- First U.S. congressional hearings are held on the epidemic by Rep.
Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles.

-- In September, CDC labels the new disease acquired immune deficiency
syndrome, or AIDS.

-- In San Francisco, an estimated 6,000 are newly infected.



-- Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, D-San Francisco, secures $2.9 million
for UC AIDS researchers.

-- The Orphan Drug Act is signed into law, encouraging pharmaceutical
companies to develop drugs for rare diseases.

-- Reports surface of a heterosexual epidemic of AIDS in central Africa.

-- French researcher Dr. Luc Montagnier isolates from AIDS patients a
novel retrovirus he labels LAV.

San Francisco

-- First AIDS candlelight memorial.


San Francisco

-- San Francisco Department of Public Health orders closure of
bathhouses as gay sex venues.

-- Dr. Robert Gallo at National Cancer Institute isolates virus now
thought to be a lab contaminant from samples of Montagnier's LAV. Gallo
develops blood test.

-- UCSF virologist Dr. Jay Levy reports isolation of a similar virus
from San Francisco patients and calls it ARV. He creates blood test used
by local doctors.



-- Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler predicts AIDS
vaccine in two years.


-- First International AIDS Conference convenes in Atlanta.


-- FDA approves the first commercial AIDS antibody test.


-- Rock Hudson discloses he has AIDS in July. He dies in October.

-- Ryan White, an Indiana teen with AIDS who was barred from school,
speaks out against stigma.



-- First controlled study of antiviral drug AZT begins.


-- Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's report on AIDS calls for education
and condom use.

-- National Academy of Science criticizes government response to AIDS,
calls for $2 billion research investment.

San Francisco

-- First panel of AIDS memorial quilt is created is by San Francisco
activist Cleve Jones.


San Francisco

-- Chronicle reporter Randy Shilts publishes "And the Band Played On,"
the definitive history of the early years of the AIDS epidemic.


-- FDA approves AZT, the first antiviral drug against AIDS. High price
prompts formation of ACT UP, and protests gain a price reduction.


-- World Health Organization launches Global Program on AIDS.

-- U.S. adds HIV infection to "dangerous contagious diseases" list used
to bar HIV-positive foreign visitors and immigrants.


-- Liberace dies of AIDS.


San Francisco

-- San Francisco establishes largest needle-exchange program in the
United States.


-- Studies show condom use effective in preventing transmission of HIV.


-- Surgeon General Koop mails 107 million copies of "Understanding AIDS"
brochure to American households.

-- FDA permits importation, for personal use, of unapproved AIDS drugs.

-- Studies show women account for half of AIDS cases in sub-Saharan



-- Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS.


-- AIDS activists protest cost of drugs at AZT-maker Burroughs-Wellcome
headquarters and on Golden Gate Bridge. Price for AZT cut by 20 percent.


-- CDC offers guidelines for treatment of Pneumocystis carinii
pneumonia, the leading killer of AIDS patients.



-- Ryan White dies at age 18.

-- Pop artist Keith Haring dies.

-- Florida woman Kimberly Bergalis, allegedly infected by her dentist,
prompts national debate over treatment by HIV-positive health care


-- Congress enacts the Ryan White CARE Act but appropriates only $350
million of $881 million authorized.


-- U.S. AIDS deaths surpass 100,000.

San Francisco

-- Sixth International AIDS Conference held in San Francisco, boycotted
by protesters against travel and immigration bans.



-- NBA star Magic Johnson announces he is HIV-positive, retires from

-- Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock band Queen, dies of AIDS.


-- A second antiviral drug, ddI, is approved by the FDA.


-- Housing assistance for people with AIDS is approved by Congress.

-- Health care unions campaign for safer needles at San Francisco
General Hospital.



-- AIDS becomes leading cause of death in the United States for men ages
25 to 44.

-- FDA begins "accelerated approval" process and registers a third
antiviral drug, ddC.


-- HIV-positive artist Mary Fisher addresses Republican National

-- Tennis star Arthur Ashe announces he has AIDS.

San Francisco

-- San Francisco study projects 21,000 AIDS deaths by 1998.



-- Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" wins Tony Award and Pulitzer

-- Ballet star Rudolf Nureyev dies of AIDS.

San Francisco

-- AIDS deaths in San Francisco surpass 10,000.

-- San Francisco threatens to close private sex clubs that do not
enforce condom use.



-- Study shows AZT given to pregnant women and newborns reduces
mother-to-child transmission by 70 percent.

-- AIDS becomes leading cause of death for all Americans ages 25 to 44.

-- World Health Organization estimates 19.5 million have been infected
with HIV.

San Francisco

-- Randy Shilts dies of AIDS.

-- Elisabeth Glaser, co-founder of Pediatric AIDS Foundation, dies of

-- MTV star Pedro Zamora dies of AIDS at age 22.



-- Bay Area AIDS activist Jeff Getty receives baboon bone marrow
transplant. The experimental treatment fails.

-- FDA approves saquinavir, the first protease inhibitor.


-- President Clinton hosts White House summit on AIDS.


-- Olympic Gold Medal diver Greg Louganis discloses he is HIV-positive.

-- Rap artist Eazy-E (Eric Wright) dies of AIDS.



-- 11th International AIDS Conference in Vancouver heralds success of
three-drug combination "cocktail."

-- FDA approves "viral load" test that measures level of HIV in the


-- New York AIDS specialist Dr. David Ho is named Time Magazine's Man of
the Year.

-- Brazil becomes first developing country to offer antiviral drugs



-- AIDS-related deaths decline by 40 percent, largely credited to
three-drug therapy.

-- California records its 100,000th AIDS case.


-- President Clinton calls for development of AIDS vaccine by 2007.

-- WHO boosts estimate of those living with HIV to 30.6 million.



-- African Americans account for 49 percent of U.S. AIDS deaths. Black
leaders declare state of emergency.

-- Congress OKs payments to hemophiliacs infected by blood products.


-- First large-scale trials for an AIDS vaccination begin.

-- Signs emerge of treatment failure and side effects from drug


-- International AIDS expert Dr. Jonathan Mann is killed in plane crash.



-- Reggie Williams, founder of National Task Force on AIDS Prevention,
dies of AIDS.


-- One-third of new infections in U.S. found among women.

-- First large-scale vaccine trial in developing country begins in

-- Research in Africa suggests circumcision dramatically lowers HIV

-- Congressional hearings on HIV in Latino community.



-- For the first time, AIDS diagnoses among black and Latino gay men
exceed those of whites in the U.S.

-- First microbicide trial fails. Nonoxynol-9 contraceptive gel
increases risk in African tests.


-- 13th International AIDS Conference convenes in Durban, while South
African president Thabo Mbeki continues to cast doubt that HIV is cause

San Francisco
-- San Francisco's estimated HIV infections double as safer sex
practices fade.



-- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan calls for creation of a
$7 billion to $10 billion annual fund to fight AIDS.

-- Bush administration promotes abstinence-only HIV-prevention programs.

-- World Trade Organization in Doha, Qatar, authorizes poor countries to
buy generic AIDS drugs.

-- Major drug companies slash prices for AIDS medications sold in
developing countries.

-- FDA approves antiviral drug tenofovir.
San Francisco

-- Study predicts 42 percent of HIV patients in San Francisco will carry
drug-resistant viruses by 2005.



-- Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is formed. UCSF
professor Richard Feachem to head it.

-- UNAIDS finds that women represent half of all adults living with HIV.

-- FDA approves rapid test for HIV,
delivering results in 20 minutes.

-- CDC estimates 850,000 Americans are living with HIV; 1 in 4 of them
don't know it.


-- Activists disrupt Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy
Thompson's speech at 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona.



-- President Bush announces $15 billion, five-year overseas AIDS relief

-- William J. Clinton Foundation negotiates price reductions from
generic AIDS drugmakers.

-- First large-scale trial of an AIDS vaccine by South San Francisco's
VaxGen fails.

-- World Health Organization begins a program to bring AIDS drugs to 3
million people in poor countries by the end of 2005.



-- UNAIDS launches Global Coalition on Women and AIDS.

-- Seven of nine California districts receive cuts in Ryan White funds.

-- U.S. Global AIDS coordinator Randall Tobias is jeered at 15th
International AIDS Conference in Bangkok.

-- Bush administration offers a quick review of generic AIDS drugs for
overseas use.



-- Nelson Mandela announces his oldest son, Makgatho, 54, has died of

-- Irish rock star and AIDS activist Bono lobbies G-8 leaders for debt
relief and doubling of foreign aid to Africa.

San Francisco

-- San Francisco and New York report puzzling rate of false positives in
oral HIV test.


San Francisco

-- San Francisco officials say HIV infection rates are down by 20
percent among gay men since 2001.

-- California lawmakers approve plan to report new HIV cases to state by

-- Scientists report promising results for new class of AIDS drugs
called integrase inhibitors.

-- In late May, UNAIDS chief Dr. Peter Piot reports declines in HIV
infection rates in several African nations.

The toll on humanity

Annual global deaths estimated by UNAIDS and the World Health
Organization were released May 30.

Accurate totals before 1985, when UNAIDS and WHO started tracking the
crisis globally, are unknown.

1981 Not known
1982 Not known
1983 Not known
1984 Not known
1985 26,000
1986 49,000
1987 84,000
1988 130,000
1989 200,000
1990 280,000
1991 380,000
1992 500,000
1993 640,000
1994 810,000
1995 1,000,000
1996 1,200,000
1997 1,400,000
1998 1,600,000
1999 1,800,000
2000 2,100,000
2001 2,300,000
2002 2,500,000
2003 2,600,000
2004 2,700,000
2005 2,800,000


A Hermaphrodite
2006-06-07 04:23:36 UTC
i MISS OUR OLD FRIENDS, including a dear friend and room mate name John
who died in 1988.

Each time I go to the Castro for meds at Walgreens, I look at places
where old favorite hangouts used to be and the fun we had partying.

The place was crowded with Gay men and a few Lesbians. Somehow I didn't
mind the Lesbians too much except, I worried they might be a straight
magnet and the phobic straight guys would cause trouble when they
couldn't have their way.. At least the ones who were used to doing that,
not all straight men nor the ones who had legitimate mutual consenting
romantic interest like all of us did.

Honey the bars were packed on a Tuesday night till 2AM, with Disco beats
doing RPMs vibrating the sidewalks as you'd hop from bar to bar.
"Hibernia Beach," was witnessed my visiting mother in 1979, who saw all
these well built men with shirts off standing on the sunny side of
Castro street "POSING." She looked with near alarm and said, "What's
going on over there?" LOL

I remember answering, "Honey that's the Gay children." Boy I was I out
"OUT." It was funny as hell then to be able to say that in front of my

In 1982 Sylvia Brown told me I'd live to be 92 and that to be so young,
I had an awful lot of death around me. She was pretty close on some
items but dead wrong about my tastes in men. I am still out to lunch on
the reality of all that ESP stuff. I simply will not say one way the
other without more evidence.

"92"......!!!!!!, yikes that's old and ugly. I still wonder if she is
right? LOL

Anyway I still miss our old friends
2006-06-07 16:43:36 UTC
Way back in June 5, 1981 ....

STD's were NOT unknown.

The sexually transmitted diseases of those days were widely known.

Using a condom in order to prevent oneself from contracting such was
"safe sex."

Everyone back in "June 5, 1981" had a CHOICE!

It wasn't hard to purchase condoms. The STD's of those days were enough
in themselves to prompt ANY man that wanted to stay disease-free to
spend a few pennys to protect his well being.

Today, the numbers rise!


Today, there is much more knowledge about "certain things," but society
still chooses to turn a "blind-eye" to what has CLEARLY been spelled

Today, there's NO EXCUSE for crying over "spilled milk!"

hop skip jump
2006-06-07 21:35:10 UTC
Your self hatred runs deep Jake, thanks for sharing.
Post by jake
Way back in June 5, 1981 ....
STD's were NOT unknown.
The sexually transmitted diseases of those days were widely known.
Using a condom in order to prevent oneself from contracting such was
"safe sex."
Everyone back in "June 5, 1981" had a CHOICE!
It wasn't hard to purchase condoms. The STD's of those days were enough
in themselves to prompt ANY man that wanted to stay disease-free to
spend a few pennys to protect his well being.
Today, the numbers rise!
Today, there is much more knowledge about "certain things," but society
still chooses to turn a "blind-eye" to what has CLEARLY been spelled
Today, there's NO EXCUSE for crying over "spilled milk!"
hop skip jump
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O Gods !</font><br><br><font color=3D"red" SIZE=3D"2"><i>It poison ' d me
!<br></font></i><font color=3D"white" SIZE=3D"2">That caused a lesser
villian than myself ?</font><br><br><font color=3D"red" size =3D"2"><i><br=
, gentlemen , Help , Help !</font></i><br><br><font color=3D"white"
size=3D"2"><br>Make thy demand aloud .</font><br><font color=3D"white"
size=3D"2"><i>Step you forth, Mine honor ' d Depart ! </font><br><font
color=3D"red" size=3D"2">If this be so , the gods do mean to strike me
!<br><br></font><font color=3D"white" size=3D"2">Breathe not where princes=
are <br>Thy Cloak shadows Thy Dagger</font><br><br><font color=3D"red"
size=3D"2"><i>Pierce this Heart<br><br>Nay , Nay , to the purpose
<br><br>It poison ' d Me . poison ' d me !<br> Sweet Death Awaits
?<br><br></font><font color=3D"white" SIZE=3D"3"><i>Bring My Circus Forth =
2006-06-07 23:20:38 UTC
How irresponsible of you.
2006-06-08 03:03:12 UTC
Post by A Hermaphrodite
Anyway I still miss our old friends
Me too, Herm, me too.
2006-06-08 15:52:43 UTC
They're DEAD.

They should have practiced SAFE SEX.
2006-06-08 18:33:42 UTC
Too bad Jake's mother and unknown father didn't practice safe sex!
ronald martin
2006-06-09 01:48:27 UTC
Are you upset because your da da spit you out on a tree .?????
2006-06-09 02:36:33 UTC
....watch out there, whiteswallower.

You're drawing close to your post limit.

..." I only post here once or so a week"....

Yea, uh huh; right!

Open W I D E and swallow like a good, OLD FAGGOT!

.........that's a good boi!
too "fonny," way too "fonny!"
2006-06-09 02:55:48 UTC
Why are you so afraid of W.S?
Post by jake
....watch out there, whiteswallower.
You're drawing close to your post limit.
..." I only post here once or so a week"....
Yea, uh huh; right!
Open W I D E and swallow like a good, OLD FAGGOT!
.........that's a good boi!
too "fonny," way too "fonny!"
2006-06-09 16:04:59 UTC
Jake isn't afraid - he's jealous! I have a life away from the web and
he is stuck here correcting people's spelling, with only the moronettes
as friends.

hop skip DUMBASS etc
2006-06-09 16:47:48 UTC
I agree, he's jealous. He seems to have a hate for anyone with family
and friends.
Post by w***@webtv.net
Jake isn't afraid - he's jealous! I have a life away from the web and
he is stuck here correcting people's spelling, with only the moronettes
as friends.
hop skip DUMBASS etc
ronald martin
2006-06-09 17:13:09 UTC
He does'int hate everyone hes like me . We hate people like you that
lie about other people . Your a scum bag you post kinky things on your
web cam and lie about how rich you are and you have to sponge of your
grandmother . You dont sell real astate . You couldent evan keep a job
as a lawn mower man you got fired for being stupid . So you can knock
off all the BS and STFU retard .
Ronny TX
2006-06-09 18:53:56 UTC
Re: June 5, 1981 (WS)
I agree, he's jealous. He seems to have
a hate for anyone with family and
And he,Jake,obviosly has a hatred for anyone who's gay.
Jake isn't afraid - he's jealous! I have a life away from the web and he
is stuck here correcting people's spelling, with only the moronettes as
hop skip DUMBASS =A0 etc


And now abides faith,hope,love,these three;but the greatest of these is
1 Corinthians 13:13

Gay Christian Webpages,Etc.

2006-06-09 21:08:15 UTC
Kevin called it when he said Jake was a gay basher.
What's Up!
2006-06-10 09:21:10 UTC
Post by w***@webtv.net
Jake isn't afraid - he's jealous! I have a life away from the web and
he is stuck here correcting people's spelling, with only the
moronettes as friends.
hop skip DUMBASS etc
Ahhhh...but he _is_ afraid, afraid of the *truth* you continue to expose
regarding him. ;-)
Contessa of Consternation
Known to leave foes discombobulated

Autistic Spectrum Code v.1.0
AS? d- s--:+ a+ c+ p+ t-- f S+ p@- e+ h- r- n+(-) i+ P m-() M


"I have run rings around you logically". Monty Python

Email at ***@nospam.com, removing the 'nospam' and replacing
with 'msn'.
2006-06-09 02:54:15 UTC
Ronald look at what you just posted. Anyone can see your mentally
f*cked up. You're using that stupid webtv as an outlet for your
frustrations. You're jealous of Kelly because he has friends and you

Why don't you share your web-pages with the group? Why don't you show
your pic?

All you ever do is bash while you hide behind that stupid webtv. Be a
man for once in your life.
Post by ronald martin
Are you upset because your da da spit you out on a tree .?????