I’m a gay man of a certain age: young enough to have missed the first ravaging fires of HIV and AIDS, but old enough both to see people get sick and die, and to be carefully tutored in the paranoia-inducing art — remember, there was no test for a few years — of safe sex. It was a perfect companion piece to the Cold War, but it ended and (despite vastly more sophisiticated treatment options) HIV/AIDS hasn’t.
And now thirty years have passed. Thirty years today since the Centers for Disease Control issued a report about five gay men who had the tell-tale infections associated with the then-unidentified, then-namelessÂ AIDS.
A moment of silence please, before the labor continues. And spare a thought for the District of Columbia, which has the highest infection rate in the country.
For more background, see this article today at Towleroad. The lede:
It was thirty days ago today, on June 5, 1981, that the Center for Disease Control first published a report on the mysterious epidemic that we have now come to know as AIDS. Today, we remember the 30 million who have passed from the disease and and the 32 million who currently live with either AIDS or HIV. You can read the original 1981 CDC report on the disease on the agency’s on-line archive here. Other relevant reports about its can be found here.