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HIV/AIDS in 1990 and 2012:  From San Francisco to Washington, DC

Robert Steinbrook, MD
JAMA. 2012;308(4):345-346. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7855.
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In 1990, the International AIDS Conference was last held in the United States. The US Food and Drug Administration had approved only 1 antiretroviral drug to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (zidovudine, approved in 1987 [Figure]). Highly active antiretroviral therapy, which has made it possible to reduce the risk of HIV transmission and for infected individuals to live longer and healthier, was still 5 years in the future.1 The AIDS epidemic remained very much out of control in the United States and around the world. Each year brought many more infections and deaths, and the expanding pandemic threatened to overwhelm the capacity for an effective response.

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Figure. Estimated Number of AIDS Diagnoses and Deaths and Number of Persons Living With AIDS Diagnosis and Living With HIV Infection Among Persons 13 Years or Older—United States, 1981-2008
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AIDS surveillance case definition was expanded in 1993. FDA indicates US Food and Drug Administration; HIV, human immunodeficiency virus. Adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1

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