Media Observe 20th Anniversary of First Report of AIDS
Newspapers today are filled with articles observing the 20th anniversary of the first published report about the disease that, although unidentified at the time, would come to be known as AIDS. On June 5, 1981, the CDC's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report published a report titled "Pneumocystis Pneumonia -- Los Angeles," which described an outbreak among five gay men of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, a "disease largely limited to people with failed immune systems" (New York Times, 6/5). Researchers would ultimately identify the underlying syndrome as AIDS. Today's media coverage includes articles in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Arizona Daily Star; Cincinnati Enquirer; Denver Post; Los Angeles Times; New York Times (which devotes most of its Science section to coverage of the disease); Newsday; Providence Journal; San Francisco Chronicle; San Jose Mercury News; Tampa Tribune; and Washington Post.
In addition, this week's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine features three articles by prominent physicians and policymakers addressing the first 20 years of the AIDS epidemic. The issue was released two days before NEJM's usual publication day in observance of today's anniversary (New England Journal of Medicine, 6/7). Also, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher spoke today on NPR's "Morning Edition" about the anniversary and the current state of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in this country, saying that while the prospects for someone diagnosed with AIDS today are "much better than before," continued work is needed to reach minority communities with prevention efforts and to develop a vaccine against the disease (Edwards, "Morning Edition," NPR, 6/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.