AIDS Virus Discovered
Back in the day on April 23rd, 1984, scientists in the United States announced the discovery of a virus called HTLV-3 that caused the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome – or AIDS. The news that came exactly twenty-five years ago was hailed as a “monumental breakthrough,” by U.S. Health Secretary Margaret Heckler. With this discovery a blood test to screen for the virus was developed as that same day the Center for Disease Control and Prevention noted statistics stating there were 4,177 reported AIDS cases with 1,807 deaths. French researchers made a similar finding a week before U.S. scientists announced HTLV-3, calling their virus LAV, and after it was concluded that the two were the same, the label HIV was adopted in 1987. Thanks in part to the political silence of leaders like President Reagan at the time, the HIV/AIDS virus exploded and now currently infects 1.1 million people in the U.S. and more than 33 million worldwide.
With these grim statistics in mind, your subversive historian is here to offer a simple safe sex refrain learned in my High School health class many years ago; No love without the glove!