FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2011
Contact: HHS Press Office
June 5, 2011, marks 30 years since the first cases of AIDS in the U.S.
On June 5, 2011, the United States marked “30 Years of AIDS.” It was on that date in 1981 that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published a report on the first cases of AIDS in the U.S. This was the first official report of what would become known as the “AIDS epidemic.”
Today, an estimated 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, and nearly one out of five people living with HIV do not know it, according to the CDC. Over the past 30 years, the U.S. and other countries have made great strides in HIV prevention, treatment, research, and policy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) AIDS.gov program has compiled a timeline highlighting some of these key milestones.
While research for a cure is still under way, HIV testing is especially critical. On June 27, the nation will observe the annual National HIV Testing Day, initiated 17 years ago by the National Association of People with AIDS. People can find a local HIV testing site and/or other services including housing, substance abuse, family planning, mental health, and health centers by entering their ZIP code into the HIV Prevention and Services Provider locator tool.
"We have made tremendous progress in addressing this epidemic over the past 30 years and we are not giving up the fight,” said Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, HHS assistant secretary for health. “I look forward to the day when this devastating disease is a part of our history, not our future."
Last July, with input from thousands of scientists, healthcare providers, AIDS advocates, and people living with HIV among others, President Obama launched the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, America’s roadmap for addressing this epidemic domestically. The primary goals of the strategy are to: 1) reduce the number of new HIV infections; 2) increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS; and 3) reduce HIV-related health disparities. Over the past year HHS has worked with government and community partners to implement the strategy and the nation continues to work to meet those goals.
As we approach “30 years of AIDS”, National HIV Testing Day, and the one-year anniversary of the release of the strategy, the federal government has organized multiple events. AIDS.gov is hosting a stakeholder webinar and conference call on June 15, at 3pm (ET) where key government leaders will provide an update on The State and Future of HIV/AIDS. Learn more and register here by June 10. To view a video of last week’s White House “30 Years of AIDS” chat with the federal health leaders, visit the White House website.
Together we have, and will continue, to make a difference in the response to HIV and AIDS. For more information on “30 Years of AIDS” activities, please visit AIDS.gov.
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Last revised: June 7, 2011