A Look Back on Twenty Years of AIDS
Since its identification in 1981, the AIDS epidemic has claimed nearly 22 million lives. Today, over 36 million people are living with the HIV virus (according to UNAIDS).
As we pause to remember those we have lost to AIDS, it is also important to remember the advances we have made in the past twenty years. In 1987, the first therapy for AIDS, AZT, was introduced. Also that year, a community-based response to AIDS was developed in Uganda, and later emulated throughout the world. In 1994, a treatment regimen able to reduce mother-to-child transmission was introduced, and in 1997 Brazil became the first developing country to provide antiretroviral therapy through its public health system. Then, in 1999, Thailand became the first developing country to perform efficacy trials on a potential HIV vaccine. Recently, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched the creation of a global fund on AIDS and health.For further information click here
Obviously, all of our efforts have not been enough. In Africa alone, 17 million people have died of AIDS, leaving 12 million children orphans (according to TIME). However, if we continue our discussions, research and caring with fervor, we will surely conquer this living nightmare.
For more information on the history of AIDS, please visit the following sites:
TIME Magazine, “Death Stalks a Continent”: http://www.time.com/time/2001/aidsinafrica/map_flash.html