On this exact day, forty years ago, the first sign of the HIV/AIDS epidemic appeared as a 527-word report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
The report’s lead writer, Dr. Michael Gottlieb, described five previously healthy, young men in Los Angeles treated for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Of the five men, two died before the report was published. An editorial note accompanying the report noted the cases represented a “cellular-immune dysfunction related to a common exposure.” Physicians in cities across the country reported similar cases following this initial report.
AIDS Project Los Angeles was formed a year later, with a mission to provide support for people with AIDS. Our goal was to help them live as long as possible and stay connected to the world around them while at the same time educating the community and preventing the spread of the disease.
Forty years later, more than 32.7 million people have died from AIDS-related complications worldwide, AIDS Project Los Angeles is now APLA Health, and Dr. Gottlieb is one of our distinguished resident physicians.
Watch this powerful video message from Dr. Gottlieb below