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Letter From the Editor

Issue 2, 2006

Dear Readers,

Sometimes, it seems that HIV/AIDS is still a "new" disease, a foreign invader infiltrating our bodies and our communities, one that we are still only starting to understand and still can't control. Other times, it seems as though HIV/AIDS has been with us forever, looming over our lives and shaping our reality. But this year, 2006, actually marks 25 years since the AIDS epidemic first came to light in the spring of 1981.

It was on June 5, 1981 that a report first appeared in the medical literature about five gay men with pneumonia in Los Angeles whose immune systems had collapsed. By the next month, in a famous article in The New York Times, word of the new "gay plague" began to reach the population at large. Since then, the history of the AIDS epidemic has brought some of the lowest lows of discrimination, hatred, ignorance and fear and some of the highest highs of courage, compassion, dedication, and hope.

The history of AIDS has yet to be written, but we can already begin to identify some of its major events. In the issue, I am happy to have the opportunity to bring to you an excerpt about the history of AIDS treatment activism from a book that I recently co-authored with Patricia Siplon entitled Drugs Into Bodies. This issue also features a timeline of AIDS history, broken into five major periods.

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Because we don't want our emphasis to be entirely backward looking, in this issue we also bring you important information about today and tomorrow. Doug Wirth continues his series of articles about the important Special Needs Plans now being offered in New York State. We also bring you a special BP publication about HIV vaccines and why people with HIV should care about them. With this kind of a focus on quality care and future prevention, hopefully we soon won't have to review the history of AIDS but can confine AIDS to history.





  
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This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.
 

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