- May 18 — “An exotic new disease” among homosexuals is reported in New York Native, a gay newspaper. This was the first news story on a disease, which came to be known as HIV/AIDS.
- June 5 — AIDS was first clinically reported by US Centers for Disease Control on a pneumonia affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles.
- AIDS is recognized as an epidemic in the United States.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, presents current research, findings, and questions related to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
AIDS first appeared in the United States in 1979 and is defined by secondary complications such as the presence of pneumocystis pneumonia and other opportunistic infections, or Kaposi's sarcoma resulting from an underlying immune deficiency caused by the virus HTLV3. Dr. Fauci notes that AIDS research is not only the first priority of the Public Health Service, but also has occupied the interest and energy of a substantial portion of the global biomedical research community. The lecture covers the history of the disease in the United States as well as circumstantial evidence suggesting that the virus emerged in West Africa. It addresses AIDS' history, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and etiology as well as development in treatments and prevention of the syndrome. Despite a high fatality rate, Dr. Fauci predicts that with the identification and isolation of the underlying cause, scientists will achieve major breakthroughs in vaccine development, antiviral chemotherapy directed against HTLV III, and immunological reconstitution.
15,000 cases are expected to die by 1991, says Jenning’s Fact File.