1983: Françoise Barré-Sinoussi discovered the retrovirus responsible for causing AIDS. Later, two research groups led by Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier also discovered the cause of the disease. Gallo called the virus HTLV-III (human T-lymphotropic virus), whereas Montagnier called it LAV (lymphadenopathy-associated virus). That same year, reports about the spread of AIDS were coming from France, Australia, Britain, and Africa. Altogether, 33 countries reported cases of the illness. The CDC made it clear that the disease could be transferred through blood transfusion and from an expecting mother to her newborn during childbirth. The CDC also encouraged people to avoid sharing needles for drug use.
1982: It was found that the disease was not restricted to the gay community. Heterosexuals and even children were contracting the HIV virus. Therefore, the term GRID was misleading and the CDC redefined the illness and coined the term Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In several European countries, reports of the occurrence of HIV/AIDS were on the rise. 1987: By now, 71,616 people were diagnosed with AIDS and 41,262 had died. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US approved the first antiretroviral drug—zidovudine (AZT).
1990: According to the WHO, there were almost nine million people living with HIV around the world in the early 1990s. This number increased up to 30 million by 1997. According to the CDC, AIDS became the leading cause of death of people aged 25 to 44 years in the United States.
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