The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked back in a press release today to its June 1-June 18, 1982 weekly morbidity report when the agency first reported on what would become the AIDS/HIV epidemic.
“At the time, no one could have predicted the enormous toll the disease would take—claiming the lives of more than 500,000 Americans and many millions worldwide,” the CDC's press release read.
Reading the 1982 report is a little eerie, because the CDC, the country and the world had no idea what was in store. It begins: “CDC received reports of 19 cases of biopsy-confirmed Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and/or Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) among previously healthy homosexual male residents of Los Angeles and Orange counties, California.”
The report went on to say that it wasn't clear whether the cancer was even related to the immune deficiency virus detected in the men.