Office of NIH History
In Their Own Words: NIH Researchers Recall the Early Years of AIDS
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WHO launched its Global Programme on AIDS
The FDA approved AZT as the first antiretroviral drug to be used as a treatment for AIDS.
President Ronald Reagan and French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac announced a joint agreement settling the dispute arising from the discovery of the AIDS virus, the first international agreement relating to a biomedical research issue to be announced by heads of state.
FDA approved the first Western blot blood test–a more specific HIV diagnostic test.
The CDC reported that between 1981 and 1987, nine health care workers caring for AIDS patients and having no other risk factors had been infected with HIV.
NHLBI awarded a contract to maintain a colony of 50 chimpanzees for studies of post-transfusion HIV infection and AIDS.
The CDC reported 40,051 cases of AIDS in the United States with 23,165 deaths.
The CDC revised its definition of AIDS to place a greater emphasis on HIV infection status.
On August 18, Dr. H. Clifford Lane and his NIAID colleagues began the first U.S. clinical trial at NIH to test an experimental HIV vaccine in humans.
NIAID established the AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Group (AVEG), a network of clinical sites to conduct trials of experimental HIV vaccines.
The NIH Office of the Director launched its Targeted Antiviral Program to encourage intramural analysis of the three-dimensional structure of HIV and to determine the shape of protein-bound drugs.
Cleve Jones made the first panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt in memory of his friend Marvin Feldman.
NIAID established 17 Clinical Study Groups (CSGs) to extend to a wider geographical area access to clinical trials of promising AIDS therapies.
The CDC released the results of a study on the prevalence of HIV infection in the United States, indicating a shifting emphasis toward defining AIDS as “infection with HIV” rather than by defining particular “indicator diseases” that characterized late-stage AIDS.

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