As the AIDS.gov blog has often noted, in 2011 the world observed a profound milestone: the 30-year anniversary of the first reported cases of what came to be known as AIDS.
To put this milestone in perspective, the journal AIDS Education and Prevention recently published a commentary by Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, and Director of the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS Policy. In the article, Thirty Years of AIDS in America: A Story of Infinite Hope, Dr. Valdiserri uses two historic documents – the 1986 Institute of Medicine report Confronting AIDS: Directions for Public Health, Health Care, and Research and the 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy – as frameworks for reflection on the key strides that have been made over the last 30 years of the epidemic and discussion of what remains to be done to realize the vision of the National HIV/AID Strategy.
Dr. Valdiserri wrote:
“We would do well to remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who reminded us that ‘We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.’ Perhaps that is how we can best commemorate the first 30 years of the AIDS epidemic in America, by recognizing it as a story of infinite hope—a story told by hundreds of thousands of people whose lives, relationships, and careers have been profoundly shaped by the virus.”
To help all of us recall these 30 years, AIDS.gov encourages you to read this article and review our timeline on our 30 Years of AIDS webpage, which now includes some additional updates and a PDF version (468KB).
In reading the timeline, you may be struck by the many names of people whose “lives, relationships, and careers have been profoundly shaped by the epidemic.” And you may be reminded of stories not widely shared—perhaps some of your own. Download the timeline and Dr. Valdiserri’s article on the AIDS.gov 30 Years of AIDS webpage.
How could you use Dr. Valdiserri’s article and the timeline to promote conversation about HIV/AIDS in your community? How could these conversations build YOUR hopes?