When the federal government reported on June 5, 1981, that “5 young men, all active homosexuals” had been diagnosed with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in Los Angeles, no one yet knew that these were the country’s first reported cases of AIDS. Since then, medicine has come a long way in understanding, treating and even preventing HIV. Following are the key medical advances and failures that have marked the past three decades of the battle against AIDS — milestones that elucidate how much we still need to learn.
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