Office of NIH History
In Their Own Words: NIH Researchers Recall the Early Years of AIDS
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1988

January
The CDC updated the International Classification of Diseases codes for HIV infection for use with U.S. morbidity and mortality data.
January
The CDC published guidelines developed for educational efforts to combat AIDS.
February
On February 12, trimetrexate was the first AIDS drug granted pre-approval distribution status under new FDA regulations. The drug was used to treat Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in AIDS patients who could not tolerate standard treatments.
March
A total of 136 countries or territories reported a total of 84,256 cases of AIDS to the WHO Global Programme on AIDS.
April
The NIH reported that between 1981 and 1988, two workers in laboratories producing large quantities of HIV had been infected with HIV, and it issued biosafety recommendations for laboratories.
April
NIAID established an AIDS reagent repository to catalogue and expedite the availability of experimental materials used in AIDS research.
June
The CDC reported that a new AIDS case was reported every 14 minutes.
June
The brochure “Understanding AIDS,” prepared by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in collaboration with the CDC, was mailed to every household in the United States.
June
NIAID and NICHD established an epidemiologic study of HIV transmission during pregnancy and birth, the Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS).
August
The CDC reported 72,024 cases of AIDS in the United States and estimated that 1 to 1.5 million Americans were infected with HIV.
August
NIAID’s AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Units initiated their first study of an experimental AIDS vaccine.
September
The World Health Organization reported that 111,000 cases of AIDS had been documented worldwide. Authorities at WHO placed the actual number of cases, including those unreported, at 250,000.
September
NIDR investigators reported that saliva inhibits transmission of HIV.
October
AIDS protestors, demanding a quicker approval process for drug treatments, shut down the FDA.
October
On October 13, NIAID established three programs: the Centers for AIDS Research (CFARS) to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of AIDS; the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Units (Pediatric ACTUs), a network of clinical sites to test experimental HIV drugs in children; and the Programs for Excellence in Basic Research (PEBRA), to develop novel strategies to determine how HIV causes disease.
November
NIAID established the International Collaborations in AIDS Research (ICAR) program to encourage studies of AIDS in Africa, Mexico, and Brazil.
November
NIAID established the Clinical Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA) to involve community physicians in AIDS research.
November
A CDC study revealed that 3 of every 1,000 college students are infected with HIV.
November
The NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) was established.
November
On November 21, FDA licensed Intron A and Roferon A (human alpha interferon injection) for the treatment of Kaposi’s sarcoma.
November
On November 28, FDA authorized pre-approval distribution of ganciclovir under a treatment IND protocol for the treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis in AIDS patients.
December
NIAID funds a natural history study, HATS, in male and female heterosexuals at high risk of AIDS who are not IV drug users. The study is modeled on the MACS.
December
On December 1, WHO’s Global Programme on AIDS instituted the first World AIDS Day as an annual event.
December
On December 22, Dr. Samuel Broder was named NCI director.
 

 

 
 
 
       
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