The First Ten Years: A History Lesson of HIV/AIDS

The Timeline of HIV/AIDS in America with breakdowns in Florida…

The First Ten Years

[1981: The Dawn of the Dead]

First U.S. “AIDS” cases reported in NY, CA, and FL among white gay men

(But people, PLEASE don’t get it twisted. This was not just a white, gay man disease. They were just the only ones going to the doctor for their symptoms to figure out what was wrong. If there is interracial dating, then let us be real and KNOW that there were gay, black men as well with this disease too. Think of the black men that died mysteriously in the mid 80’s to 90’s from “pneumonia” or “cancer”?

As which leads me to the next plot in the timeline, a point made in hindsight because no one was openly admitting that this was going on…

But people who were NOT white, male, AND gay had a false sense of security that they were NOT at risk.

Just imagine if people had treated this disease as though it were airborne or something obtained through drinking water or eating spinach, the precautions that would have been taken!

AIDS was initially named “GRID”. Can you guess what that was for?

Gay Related Immune Deficiency – Thank GOD we’ve made the strides we have made thus far to realize that this virus knows no gender, race, sexual preference, age, religion, appearance (meaning no matter HOW fine or sexy a man or woman is, ANY one can have it!!), social status, or political affiliation.
[1982: Que es Nombre?]

The gay related immune deficiency virus is given the name AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and the virus is now being diagnosed among HETEROsexuals, injection of drug users, transfusion recipients, hemophiliacs, and newborn infants; hence identified as a BLOOD-BORNE infection.

[1983: Number by Number]

The Centers for Disease Control (CDOC) declared AIDS as a reportable disease.

This information is crucial in the timeline as most of your data and statistics that you read and learn are of REPORTED cases only, meaning these are only the collected data of individuals that have been tested and know their status. This does NOT include the individuals roaming God’s green Earth without the first iota as to what they are carrying in their bodies; hence the importance of being tested and knowing your status, refraining from high risk behavior that can impair judgment and educating yourselves about the risks.

At the end of 1983, the cumulative AIDS cases reported were 4,156 in the United States, 235 being in the state of Florida. This staggering climb in AIDS cases led to it being declared a “public health emergency”, requiring physicians to report diagnosed cases immediately. This also changed how doctors, hospitals, and clinics operated.

[1984 : Cause & Effect]
Active surveillance for AIDS cases began in Florida; primarily focusing on South Florida.

HIV (HUMAN Immunodeficiency Virus [key word being human!!] is now identified as the cause of AIDS.

At the end of 1984, the cumulative AIDS cases reported were 9,920 cases in the United States with 544 being in Florida.

[1985: Hello, Operator? A Mosquito Bit Me!]

The FLORIDA toll free AIDS Hotline is established

Hysteria is created when TWO doctors in Belle Glade, FL claim that mosquitoes transmit HIV

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first HIV antibody test and screening of the blood supply began (which prevented the virus from being passed in blood transfusions – so today this is not a huge concern of contracting the virus)

Over 20 anonymous (alternate) HIV counseling and testing sites are established throughout Florida.

At the end of 1985, the cumulative AIDS cases reported were 20, 500 (that’s MORE than doubled!!) and 1,000 of these cases were in Florida.

[1986: Tune into WHIV for the latest...]

A statewide Public Information Campaign in Florida was initiated with billboards and radio spots as the first phase in prevention and awareness

WHY did this take FIVE years to happen since the beginning of the spread of the virus? Why do evolve so slowly as a people to protect ourselves from self destruction?

Remember that bullshit about mosquitoes carrying HIV? A CDOC/Florida study was conducted in Belle Glade disproved this pile of poo and was published in the journal of Science.

At the end of 1986, the cumulative AIDS cases reported were 37,000 with 2,100 of them being in Florida.

[1987: Take 2 Million Dollar Pills & Call Me In The Morning!]

Funding was obtained to expand HIV prevention education to minorities and community based groups.

There have been up to 3,000 calls a month to the AIDS Hotline

AZT (Retrovir) approved as the FIRST antiretroviral drug, initially helpful in warding off opportunistic infections and wasting.

This is now a drug given to pregnant women with HIV/AIDS to keep the child from contracting the virus during the term and delivery. Isn’t science wonderful? Or a double edged sword? Hmmm…

At the end of 1987, the cumulative AIDS cases reported were 59,500 cases and 3,700 of them are reported in Florida.

REMEMBER for those of you who may have forgotten, that these numbers are REPORTED cases of individuals who have been tested and are aware of their status!!

[1988: Silence Is Death]

Supplemental AZT funding was obtained by Florida; over 700 patients enrolled to receive the drug.

Can you imagine the lives that could have been saved had MORE people felt COMFORTABLE enough to be tested and/or had the money to enroll to receive the drug?? Remember at the end of 1987, there were 3700 reported cases, now Florida has 700 individuals enrolled to receive this drug that can prevent complications in the body due to the virus. There are still roughly 3,000 people wandering around NOT receiving treatment.

Surgeon General C. Everett Coop, MD, sends a booklet titled, “Understanding AIDS” to all 107 million households in the U.S., informing the country about HIV and how to prevent it - the LARGEST public health mailing EVER done.

Surgeon General Koop held office from 1982 to 1989 and was told to keep silent his non judgmental and progressive views about AIDS for several years before the mail out booklet.

Aren’t you glad he didn’t listen?

At the end of 1988 the cumulative AIDS cases reported were 89,800 in the United States with 6,300 being in Florida.

[1989: Crack Increases Risk]

Burroughs Wellcome , a fund that supports pharmaceutical companies, lowered the priced of AZT by 20% 4 days after ACTUP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) activists staged a large protest at the NY Stock Exchange.

See? Unity and persistence DOES make a difference people!! Raise your voice, be heard!! Make a difference!

An epidemic of “crack” cocaine hits the streets of Florida, leading to an increase in syphilis and AIDS.

Amazing what drug use can make you do. And yes to those of you nodding your head about these things being put here on purpose by the government, we hear you! But instead of focusing on what the government did or didn’t do on purpose, STOP them at their own game. See, for years they know that WE know what they are up to, but they know that most of us are just going to run around paranoid at their next tactic or sit and talk about don’t do this and don’t do that… we talk about it, but we never DO anything about it. They DON’T talk about it and we sit and watch them BE about it…. Let’s get it together people!

The Florida responds to AIDS media campaign begins.

At the end of 1989, the cumulative United States AIDS reported cases were 115,700 with 9,800 of them being in Florida.

Other Links With Helpful Related Information:
Mosquitos and HIV

Find A Testing Site Near You


What Is AZT?

Surgeon General C. Koop

Centers for Disease Control

Operation Get Tested

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

50 Under 30

Thank you for reading this blog. I appreciate all that come through to read, whether you comment or not. I just ask that you walk away with the desire to pass this blog on to a friend, get tested, do some research on your own, find your voice in this matter, there is no reason that the senseless spread of this virus can't be stopped. Again, thank you - the face to erase the stigma.... miss empowe[red].