As we prepare to enter our 25th year, we are reflecting on the global HIV events from the last three decades. HIV has swept across the globe touching communities on every continent. Here’s an introduction to some of the key moments in the early global history of HIV. Catch up on the story using the ‘Recent Posts’ link to the right.
We focus today on 1992 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) set as a priority target for prevention as the year 2000, it was envisioned that the whole population at risk from HIV and AIDS in Africa and Asia should live in communities where condoms were both readily available and affordable.
However despite a global target set by the WHO, in the UK, the Department of Health made it an offence to sell, advertise or supply HIV antibody testing kits to the public. This at a time when a major UK newspaper ran a series of articles challenging the orthodox view that HIV alone causes AIDS. (Read: Poppers and Propaganda)
The first combination drug therapies for HIV are introduced. Such “cocktails” are more effective than AZT alone and slow down the development of drug resistance. It’s the first in a series of steps that would revolutionise HIV medicine forever.
Australian singer Peter Allen dies from complications due to AIDS on June 18, 1992.
Popular science fiction writer Isaac Asimov dies on April 6. It was only this year, that his widow revealed that his death was due to AIDS-related complications. The writer was infected during a blood transfusion in 1983.
Experts predicted that within five years there might be more people affected by AIDS in India than in any other country.