30 years ago today in NY Times: “Rare cancer seen in 41 homosexuals”

30 years ago today, in an article in the New York Times, a rare cancer was written about that would eventually lead researchers to learn about and identify AIDS.

Doctors in New York and California have diagnosed among homosexual men 41 cases of a rare and often rapidly fatal form of cancer. Eight of the victims died less than 24 months after the diagnosis was made.

Dr. Friedman-Kien said he had tested nine of the victims and found severe defects in their immunological systems. The patients had serious malfunctions of two types of cells called T and B cell lymphocytes, which have important roles in fighting infections and cancer.

More than 60 million people were infected with HIV, and more than 30 million people lost their life to the AIDS virus. At its peak in 1996, an estimated 2.6 million people became infected with HIV.

An estimated 34 million people are currently living with HIV — including nearly 1.2 million in the U.S. — and stigma continues to prove as deadly as the disease itself, keeping people from getting tested and treated for HIV/AIDS.

30 years later, immeasurable fundraising and research behind and ahead of us, no cure has been found.

The NY Times article was featured in the trailer for the film “Longtime Companion.”

(via gay.americablog.com)