The Truth is Powerful

President Biden honors “all those we have lost” in 40 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

President Joe Biden (D) released a statement marking the anniversary of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, recognized when the first AIDS cases were documented 40 years ago on June 5, 1981. In his statement, he recognized the “the tireless dedication of activists, scientific researchers, and medical professionals” who faced “years of neglect, discrimination, fear-mongering, and limited action by government officials and the public.”

In light of that, Biden’s administration also announced their appointment of a new director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, Dr. Harold Phillips.

40 years ago, doctors noted that five gay men in California — described as “active homosexuals” — had displayed similar, severe symptoms of what appeared to be unusual infections. Although the disease could have been widespread before then, within a year of the discovery, medical professionals would declare an epidemic and name the disease AIDS.

Today, while significant advances have been made in the fight against AIDS and the viruses now known as HIV, the epidemic remains.

Biden’s statement acknowledged the sacrifice, struggle, and marginalization that people faced in the fight to combat HIV.

“Forty years ago today, five young men in Los Angeles were confirmed as the first known patients stricken with an illness that […]

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