The first global health day, known as World AIDS Day, every year on December 1, shows people around the world support for those living with HIV, celebrating those who died and gathered together to find cures.  World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 as a way to raise awareness about the disease, as well as show support for those living with it. In its 30th th year, the theme of the 2018 World AIDS Day is to “feel your status”, according to the UN United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS). The theme is part of an attempt to encourage people to be tested, because thousands of people living with HIV do not even know it.
While HIV and AIDS are commonly used interchangeably, the conditions are not the same. Human immunodeficiency virus, the formal name for HIV, is a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, shortened AIDS. After a person has been infected with HIV, the immune system continues to weaken because AIDS is the last step of the infection. While everyone with AIDS has HIV, not everyone who has HIV is developing AIDS.
The first official report on the AIDS epidemic came in the form of disease prevention and prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on June 5, 1
981. The report described a rare lung infection discovered in five previously healthy men who were homosexuals in Los Angeles. After the news reported the story, doctors rural areas shared similar cases with CDC.
By the end of 1981 there were 270 reported cases of severe immunodeficiency among men who were homosexuals and 121 of these people died.
Clinics specially designed for the treatment of persons who had AIDS were first opened in September 1982, The same year as the term AIDS was used for the first time.
Originally believed to be a disease affecting only men who were homosexuals, CDC reported on December 10, 1982 that a child was diagnosed with AIDS, believed to have been infected after a blood transfusion. Since January 1983, the CDC-reported women, who had AIDS-positive sex partners, also reported the disease.
The same year, the MMWR report noted that AIDS can be transmitted sexually or through blood exposure. It also excludes the spread of disease through temporary contact, food, water, air or environmental sources.
In an epidemic, 1984, Margaret Heckler, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, identified the cause of AIDS being the retrovirus HTLV-III and predicted a vaccine would be found within two years. Thirty two years later there is still no vaccination against AIDS.
The United States was far from the only country dealing with the AIDS crisis and in 1987 it became the first disease ever debated at the UN General Assembly. In the same year, the first anti-retroviral drug zidovudine (AZT) was approved.