Wednesday, June 01, 2011

30 Years of AIDS

If someone who came out after 1995 from another planet came to me and wanted to know the history of AIDS, I would refer them to this wonderful article in yesterday's New York Times. Written by Lawrence K. Altman -- a medical doctor who is also a journalist -- it's the most informative -- yet concise -- piece I've ever read about the horrific epidemic that turns 30 years old this week.

It also brings some perspective, and makes you truly appreciate the efforts of activist groups like ACT Up:

Altman writes:

For the patients who died in the early years, the wait for effective treatments -- a decade or so after the first reports of the disease -- was far too long. But that is a relatively short time in the history of medicine to develop treatments and preventions; after all, many incurable cancers and other diseases have been known for centuries.

The relative speed with which the therapies were developed owes much to the efforts of cadres of activists who demanded that the Food and Drug Administration loosen the rules for clinical trials and speed its drug approval process.

Read the full article HERE.

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