Office of NIH History
In Their Own Words: NIH Researchers Recall the Early Years of AIDS
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On January 17, NCI scientists and their collaborators published the genome of HTLV-III in Nature.
On March 7, the first AIDS antibody test, an ELISA-type test, was released.
On April 15-17, the first International AIDS Conference was held in Atlanta, sponsored by NIH, CDC, and FDA; the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration; the Health Resources and Services Administration; and the World Health Organization (WHO). An international network of Collaborating Centres on AIDS was formed.
The CDC reported 10,000 cases of AIDS in the United States with 4,942 deaths.
The CDC revised the case definition of AIDS to include additional specific disease conditions and to exclude people as AIDS cases if they had a negative result on testing for serum antibody to HTLV-III/LAV.
United Press International reported that actor Rock Hudson had AIDS.
Indiana teen Ryan White, a hemophiliac suffering from AIDS, was refused entry to school.
The U.S. military services began testing for the AIDS virus among its personnel.
Rock Hudson died on October 2. He was the first major public figure to die of AIDS. Public fear about AIDS increased dramatically.
Publication of a finding that the AIDS virus is present in saliva increased public fears about AIDS.

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