Today is June 5, 2020.
On June 5, 1981, the CDC published a report that indicated five men in Los Angeles contracted a “cellular-immune dysfunction related to a common exposure” and a “disease acquired through sexual contact.”
Those five men represent the first cases of AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a term established in 1982.
In 2001, the CDC recapped its history of HIV/AIDS research with charts and graphs. Take a look.
That’s what nearly every timeline says.
However, doctors discovered in 1987 that a 16-year-old African American in Missouri named Robert Rayford died of AIDS in 1969. It’s a fascinating story. Because he contracted a different strain of HIV than the Los Angeles men, he’s considered a postscript. Maybe the timeline should change.
- 37,832 Americans were diagnosed with HIV
- 15,889 diagnoses (or 42%) were Black or African American
- 72% of women living with HIV are Black
- 14% (or 1 in 7) didn’t know they were infected
I’m not a scientist and I don’t pretend to be one, but those four bullets appear similar to what I’m reading about coronavirus diagnoses, albeit with a larger patient size.
I’m confident that biostatisticians and virologists are calculating correlations between race, ethnicity, geography, and a gazillion other factors as they relate to multiple viruses and diseases. Hopefully, their research can suggest measurable actions to prevent infection in the future.