Our timeline: past and future
The following is a summary of events provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For further information, visit CDC.gov.
June 5, 1981
December 10, 1981
Bobbi Campbell becomes the first Kaposi Sarcoma patient to go public, writing a newspaper column on living with “gay cancer”.
December 31, 1981
There is a cumulative total of 270 reported cases, including 121 deaths, of severe immune deficiency among gay men.
June 4, 1982
September 24, 1982
January 7, 1983
The CDC announces that injection drug use is a leading cause of AIDS transmission in the United States.
May 18, 1983
Community-based AIDS service organizations join together to form AIDS Action, a national organization in Washington, D.C., to advocate on behalf of people and communities affected by the epidemic, to educate the federal government, and to help shape AIDS-related policy and legislation.
July 13, 1984
August 27, 1985
October 24, 1986
March 19, 1987
Senator Jesse Helms equates syringe services programs with a federal endorsement of drug use and leads Congress to enact a prohibition on the use of federal funds for such programs.
The National AIDS Fund was founded in 1988. We’ve spent the decades since supporting community-driven efforts to combat the HIV epidemic across the country. From the beginning, we recognized and focused on the most disproportionately affected populations, including gay and bisexual men, communities of color, women and people living in the South.
August 18, 1990
A panel convened by the United States Institute of Medicine recommends that the U.S. government lift the ban on funding syringe services programs, finding that syringe services programs are effective at reducing rates of HIV while not contributing to an increase in drug use. A review by the CDC reaches a similar conclusion.