Communities across the globe observed World Aids Day to reflect on the catastrophic toll HIV/AIDS has created.
World Aids Day was honored in Sacramento thanks to the partnership of The Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center and St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day memorial is "Never Forget," highlighting the still continuing struggle of HIV/AIDS in our Sacramento community, said Ken Pierce, Equality Action NOW – Chairman of the Board – Communications Director.
Yesterday The Center hosted a participatory and interactive memorial in the Panepento Family Main Room at the Center from noon to 6pm.
Community members came in, writing messages honoring those lost to HIV/AIDS, and lighting a candle in remembrance.
At 6pm a silent procession, lead by River City Sisters, traveled three blocks to St. John’s Lutheran Church on L Street, for a service of honor and action. It will included a presentation of a Resolution by elected officials, a brief history of the HIV/AIDS struggle (see condensed timeline below), interpretation and presentation of AIDS Quilts, special musical presentations, and several personal perspectives on the impact of HIV/AIDS in people’s lives.
After the service there was a candlelight vigil on the steps of the church in remembrance of those lost.
Here is a summary of last night’s presentation of the timeline of AIDS based on informartion from Wikipedia:
• Researchers believe that in the 1930s a form of simian immunodeficiency virus jumped to humans in central Africa. The mutated virus becomes HIV-1.
X-ray showing infection with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
• The first known case of HIV in a human occurs in a person who died in the Congo, later confirmed as having HIV infection from his preserved blood samples.
• In New York City, on June 28, 1959, Ardouin Antonio, a 49-year-old a Jamaican-American shipping clerk dies of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, a disease closely associated with AIDS. Dr. Gordon Hennigar, who performed the postmortem examination of the man’s body, found "the first reported instance of unassociated Pneumocystis carinii disease in an adult" to be so unusual that he pickled Ardouin’s lungs for later study. The case was written up in two medical journals at the time, and Hennigar has been quoted in numerous publications saying that he believes Ardouin probably had AIDS.
• HIV-2, a viral variant found in West Africa, is thought to have transferred to people from sooty mangabey monkeys in Guinea-Bissau during this period.
• Genetic studies of the virus indicate that, in or about 1966, HIV first arrived in the Americas, infecting a single person in Haiti. At this time, many Haitians were working in Congo, providing the opportunity for infection.
• A 2003 analysis of HIV types found in the United States, compared to known mutation rates, suggests that the virus may have first arrived in the United States in this year.
• A St. Louis teenager, identified as Robert Rayford, dies of an illness that baffles his doctors. Eighteen years later, molecular biologists at Tulane University in New Orleans test samples of his remains and find evidence of HIV present.
• The first reports of wasting and other symptoms, later determined to be AIDS, are reported in residents of Africa.
• Norwegian sailor Arvid Noe dies; it is later determined that he contracted HIV/AIDS in Africa during the early 1960s.
• Danish physician Grethe Rask dies of AIDS contracted in Africa.
• A San Francisco prostitute gives birth to the first of three children who were later diagnosed with AIDS, and whose blood, when tested after their deaths, revealed HIV infection. The mother died of AIDS in May 1987. Test results show she was infected by as late as 1977, perhaps earlier.
• A Portuguese man known as Senhor Jose dies; he will later be confirmed as the first known infection of HIV-2. He was believed to have been exposed to the disease in Guinea-Bissau in 1966.
• San Francisco resident Ken Horne, the first AIDS case in the United States to be recognized at the time, is reported to Center for Disease Control with Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). He was also suffering from Cryptococcus at the time.
• French-Canadian flight attendant Gaetan Dugas pays his first known visit to New York City bathhouses. He would later be deemed "Patient Zero" for his apparent connection to many early cases of AIDS in the United States.
• Rick Wellikoff, a Brooklyn schoolteacher, dies of AIDS in New York City on December 23. He is the 4th American to have died from the new disease.
Kaposi’s sarcoma on the skin of an AIDS patient.
• Nick Rock becomes the first known AIDS death in New York City.
• Dr. Lawrence Mass becomes the first journalist in the world to write about the epidemic, in the "New York Native," a gay newspaper.
• The CDC reports a cluster of Pneumocystis pneumonia in five gay men in Los Angeles.
• CDC reports clusters of Kaposi’s sarcoma and Pneumocystis pneumonia among gay men in California and New York City.
• By the end of the year, 121 people are known to have died from the disease.
• First known case in the United Kingdom.
• CDC MMWR 1982 31(23);305-7
"Exposure to some substance (rather than an infectious agent) may eventually lead to immunodeficiency among a subset of the homosexual male population that shares a particular style of lifestyle.
• CDC reports a cluster of opportunistic infections (OI) and Kaposi’s sarcoma among Haitians recently entering the United States.
• The term AIDS (for acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is proposed at a meeting in Washington of gay-community leaders, federal bureaucrats and the CDC to replace GRID (for gay-related immune deficiency) as evidence showed it was not gay specific.
• Summer, First known case in Italy.
• CDC defines a case of AIDS as a disease, at least moderately predictive of a defect in cell-mediated immunity, occurring in a person with no known cause for diminished resistance to that disease.
• a baby in California becomes ill in the first known case of AIDS from a blood transfusion.
• First known case in Brazil and Canada.
• Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, isolates a retrovirus that kills T-cells from the lymph system of a gay AIDS patient. In the following months, she would find it in additional gay and hemophiliac sufferers. This retrovirus would be called by several names, including LAV and HTLV-III before being named HIV in 1986.
• CDC National AIDS Hotline established.
• United States Public Heath Service (PHS) or (USPHS) issues donor screening guidelines. AIDS high-risk groups should not donate blood/plasma products.
• Australia has first death from AIDS in Melbourne, the Hawke Labor government invests in a significant campaign that ultimately gives HIV/AIDS in Australia one of the lowest infection rates in the world.
• AIDS is diagnosed in Mexico for the first time. HIV can be traced in the country back to 1981.
• The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technique is developed by Kary Mullis, improving the researches on microbiology and genetics, also widely used in AIDS research.
One of the first reported patients who died of AIDS (presumptive diagnosis) in the US is reported in the Journal Gastroentereology in 1981. Professor Louis Weinstein, his treating physician, commented that "Although no clear-cut evidence of immuno-deficiency could be demonstrated in our patient, this could not be ruled out completely.”
• Gaëtan Dugas died. He was a French Canadian flight attendant linked by the CDC directly or indirectly with 40 of the first 248 reported cases of AIDS in the U.S.
• U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler announces at a press conference that an American scientist, Dr. Robert Gallo, has discovered the probable cause of AIDS: the retrovirus subsequently named human immunodeficiency virus or HIV in 1986. She also declares that a vaccine will be available within two years.
• Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS by a doctor performing a partial lung removal. White became infected with HIV from a blood product, known as Factor VIII, as part of his treatment for hemophilia which was given to him on a regular basis. 1985
• FDA approves first AIDS antibody screening tests for use on all donated blood and plasma intended for transfusion.
• Rock Hudson dies of AIDS. On July 25, 1985, he was the first American celebrity to publicly admit having AIDS; he had been diagnosed with it on June 5, 1984.
• HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is adopted as name of the retrovirus that was first proposed as the cause of AIDS by Luc Montagnier of France, who named it ‘LAV (lymphadenopathy associated virus) and Robert Gallo of the United States, who named it HTLV-III (human T-lymphotropic virus type III)
• …one million Americans have already been infected with the virus and that this number will jump to at least 2 million or 3 million within 5 to 10 years…" – NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, New York Times.
• President Reagan instructs his Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to prepare a report on AIDS. (Koop was excluded from the Executive Task Force on AIDS established in 1983 by his immediate superior, Assistant Secretary of Health Edward Brandt.)
• First officially known cases in the Soviet Union and India and China..
• AZT (zidovudine), the first antiretroviral drug, becomes available to treat HIV. • Williamson, West Virginia closes its public swimming pool following an incident involving a local resident with HIV/AIDS. The Oprah Winfrey Show broadcasts a town hall meeting during which local residents express their fears about AIDS and homosexuality.
• Randy Shilts investigative journalism book And the Band Played On:
• May, C. Everett Koop sends an eight-page, condensed version of his Surgeon General’s Report on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome report named Understanding AIDS to all 107,000,000 households in the United States, becoming the first federal authority to provide explicit advice to Americans on how to protect themselves from AIDS.
• December 1, the first World AIDS Day
• The television movie "The Ryan White Story" aired. Another AIDS-themed film, The Littlest Victims, debuted in 1989, biopicing James Oleske, the first U.S. physician to discover AIDS in newborns during AIDS’ early years, when many thought it was only homosexually-spread.
• Ryan White – Dies on April 8, 1990 at the age of 18 from pneumonia caused by AIDS complications.
• Congress enacted The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act or Ryan White Care Act, the United States’ largest federally funded health related program (excluding Medicaid and Medicare).
• Brazilian singer Cazuza dies in Rio de Janeiro on July 7, 1990 at the age of 32 from an AIDS related illness.
• A little over 24 hours after issuing the statement confirming that he has been tested HIV positive and had AIDS, Freddie Mercury (Singer of the British band Queen) dies on November 24, 1991 at the age of 45. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.
• NBA star Magic Johnson publicly announces that he is HIV-positive.
• The first combination drug therapies for HIV are introduced. Such "cocktails" are more effective than AZT alone and slow down the development of drug resistance.
• American actor Anthony Perkins, known for his role as Norman Bates in the Psycho movies, dies from AIDS.
• Popular science fiction writer Isaac Asimov dies on April 6. Ten years later, his wife revealed that his death was due to AIDS-related complications. The writer was infected during a blood transfusion in 1983.
• Tennis star Arthur Ashe dies from related complications.
• Elizabeth Glaser, wife of Starsky & Hutch’s Paul Michael Glaser, dies from related complications almost ten years after receiving an infected blood transfusion while giving birth and unknowingly passing it on to her daughter, Ariel, and son, Jake. Ariel died in 1988, Jake is living with HIV, with Paul Michael remaining negative.
• Saquinavir, a new type of protease inhibitor drug, becomes available to treat HIV. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) becomes possible. Within two years, death rates due to AIDS will have plummeted in the developed world.
• Legendary British DJ and entertainer Kenny Everett dies from AIDS on 4 April 1995.
• Oakland resident Jeff Getty becomes the first person to receive a bone marrow transplant from a Baboon, as an experimental procedure to treat his HIV infection. He died of heart failure after cancer treatment, in 2006.
• Robert Gallo’s discovery that some natural compounds known as chemokines can block HIV and halt the progression of AIDS is hailed by Science magazine as one of that year’s most important scientific breakthroughs.
• "The most recent estimate of the number of Americans infected (with HIV), 750,000, is only half the total that government officials used to cite over a decade ago, at a time when experts believed that as many as 1.5 million people carried the virus." article in the Washington Post.
• International Human Rights Day, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is launched to campaign for greater access to HIV treatment for all South Africans, by raising public awareness and understanding about issues surrounding the availability, affordability and use of HIV treatments.
• studies suggest that a retrovirus, SIVcpz (simian immunodeficiency virus) from the common chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, may have passed to human populations in west equatorial Africa during the twentieth century and developed into various types of HIV.
• Edward Hooper releases a book called The River, which accuses doctors who developed and administered the oral polio vaccine in 1950s Africa of unintentionally starting the AIDS epidemic.
• World Health Organization estimates between 15% and 20% of new HIV infections worldwide are the result of blood transfusions, where the donors were not screened or inadequately screened for HIV.
• FDA licenses the first nucleic acid test (NAT) systems intended for screening of blood and plasma donations.
• CDC recommends anti-retroviral post-exposure prophylaxis for people exposed to HIV from rapes, accidents or occasional unsafe sex or drug use.
• A highly resistant strain of HIV linked to rapid progression to AIDS is identified in New York City.
• The first case of someone being cured of HIV. A San Francisco man, Timothy Ray Brown, coinfected with leukemia and HIV, is cured from HIV due to his bone marrow transplant in Germany. Other similar cases begin being studied to confirm what is believed to be similar results.
• Confirmation of the first patient cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown, as having a negative HIV status, 4 years after treatment.