FOCUS ON: XIX International AIDS Conference

AIDS Conference Co-Chair Talks About Turning Tide on Disease

UCSF's Diane Havlir, co-chair of AIDS 2012, the XIX International AIDS Conference, talks about turning the tide on the disease as she heads to Washington, D.C. for the first meeting hosted by the United States since 1990. Read more

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Thirty Years of AIDS: A Timeline of the Epidemic

Thirty years into the fight against HIV/AIDS, UCSF has helped change the course of this deadly disease, which has claimed the lives of 33 million people worldwide. This timeline covers the highlights over the past three decades at UCSF, in the nation and around the world.
Editor's note: This timeline was updated on March 23, 2012.

AIDS is detected in California and New York. The first cases are among gay men, then injection drug users.

UCLA’s Michael Gottlieb, MD, authored the first report to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention on June 5 identifying the virus that would be known as AIDS.

UCSF’s Paul Volberding, MD, saw his first HIV-positive patient with Kaposi’s sarcoma, a rare cancer later linked to AIDS, on his first day at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) on July 1.

The CDC establishes the term Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The City and County of San Francisco, working closely with health professionals at UCSF, SFGH, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and others, develops the San Francisco “model of care,” which emphasizes home and community-based services.

US Congress convenes first hearings on HIV/AIDS.

UCSF faculty physicians develop the country’s first outpatient AIDS clinic and inpatient ward at SFGH, which was the first unit of its kind in the US and remains a national model of care.

Three thousand AIDS cases are reported in the US; 1,000 people have died so far.

UCSF virologist Jay Levy, MD, co-discovers HIV; he and his colleagues go on to make many of the first observations in AIDS research, including demonstrating that HIV grew in cells other than in the lymphocytes and isolating the virus in the brain and the bowels.

Ryan White, a 13-year-old hemophiliac from Indiana, becomes infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment.

UCSF’s Donald Abrams, MD, is instrumental in establishing a network of Bay Area clinicians called Community Consortium, which pioneers a new model of community-based clinical trials.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licenses first HIV test for screening blood supplies.

Movie star Rock Hudson announces that he has AIDS and dies, becoming the first major celebrity to succumb to the disease.

The US Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization (WHO) host the First International AIDS Conference in Atlanta. These annual conferences continue today.

Ryan White is barred from school and becomes a national spokesperson against AIDS stigma and discrimination.

American Foundation for AIDS Research is founded with the help of movie star Elizabeth Taylor.

With the awarding of a National Institutes of Mental Health AIDS Center grant designed to boost AIDS prevention research, UCSF’s Center for AIDS Prevention officially opens its doors under the direction of Stephen Hulley, MD.

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation launches the San Francisco AIDS Walk to raise funds for patient care, research and education. UCSF participates in the walk from the start. UCSF participates in the walk from the start.

More than 38,000 cases of AIDS are reported from 85 countries.

Elected in late 1980, President Ronald Reagan first mentions the word AIDS in public.

National Academy of Sciences report is critical of US response to the epidemic and calls for $2 billion investment to combat the disease.

The first clinical trials of antiviral drug azidothymidineor AZT begin.

US Surgeon General Everett Koop, MD, issues report on AIDS calling for education and condom use.

Institute of Medicine report calls for expanding education campaign and creating the National Commission on AIDS... Read more