In the early 1980s, “AIDS was just a whisper in the corner of a gay bar.”
Within a few years it grew into a global epidemic, and today, despite many victories in the fight against HIV/AIDS, some 1.2 million people in the United States alone live with the virus. Every 9.5 minutes another person becomes infected, totaling more than 50,000 new infections annually. Meanwhile, the brunt of the epidemic disproportionately affects black women and intravenous drug users.
“The sad part is that we are talking about HIV infection 35 years later,” said Paul Cleary, dean of the Yale School of Public Health and director of Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) at Yale.