Florida: AIDS Era Surfaced Early in South Florida
June 15, 2006
Twenty-five years ago, CDC's initial report on HIV/AIDS described cases in five gay men in Los Angeles. Subsequently, more reports of cases among gay men emerged mostly in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
In South Florida, however, doctors and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami were treating patients with failing immune systems and strange infections for more than a year before the report came out. The patients were gay men as well as heterosexual men and women, many of whom were Haitian. In 1983, CDC listed Haitians as a separate high-risk group for HIV, along with hemophiliacs, injecting drug users, and gay men. Haitians were removed from the list two years later.
The epidemic's early profile in South Florida foreshadowed what it has become nationally and globally: a disease not only of gay men but also of heterosexual men and women, disproportionately affecting the poor and people of color.
06.11.2006; Jacob Goldstein
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.