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CDC: First Report of AIDS

Published June 5, 1981

The Center for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality  Weekly Report (MMWR) describes its first report of AIDS from 1981. It says, “Twenty years ago, on June 5, 1981, MMWR published a report of five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) among previously healthy young men in Los Angeles. All of the men were described as “homosexuals”; two had died. Local clinicians and the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer stationed at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, prepared the report and submitted it for MMWR publication in early May 1981… The report prompted additional case reports from New York City, San Francisco, and other cities. At about the same time, CDC’s investigation drug unit, the sole distributor of pentamidine, the therapy for PCP, began to receive requests for the drug from physicians also to treat young men. In June 1981, CDC developed an investigative team to identify risk factors and to develop a case definition for national surveillance. Within 18 months, epidemiologists conducted studies and prepared MMWR reports that identified all of the major risks factors for acquired immnodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In March 1983, CDC issued recommendations for prevention of sexual, drug-related, and occupational transmission based on these early epidemiologic studies and before the cause of the new, unexplained illness was known.”

 

 

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