Looking Back on 30 Years of HIV/AIDS

Looking Back on 30 Years of HIV/AIDS

05.31.11 | By Kate Connors

Over the weekend, The Washington Post ran an op-ed by Anthony Fauci, M.D., the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, and one of the earliest pioneers in the field of HIV/AIDS research.

Dr. Fauci's op-ed looks back on the last three decades of scientific research about HIV and AIDS. June 5 will mark the 30th anniversary of the first mention in a medical journal - the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - of the disease that we now know as HIV/AIDS, though at the time, that connection had not yet been made.

It's remarkable to think that in just 30 years, this disease has been identified, named, studied, and effectively treated. What was once a death sentence with just a few-months life expectancy is now a controllable disease. And in no small part, that is because America's biopharmaceutical research companies stepped up to answer the call, searching for medicines to treat a disease that, at first, they couldn't even fully understand.

As Dr. Fauci writes, "There is a stunning contrast between how I felt as a physician-scientist in the 1980s and the optimism I feel today as more infections are prevented and lifesaving drugs increasingly become available throughout the world."

Next week, PhRMA will be celebrating 30 years of hope, of breakthroughs, and of life in the field of HIV/AIDS. Come back often to learn more from patients and researchers about what we have accomplished and what remains to be done.

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