HIV/AIDS to PrEP: A United States Timeline

By MISTR Staff

To close out LGBTQ+ History Month, it’s important to remember the path our community took from the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to the advent of Truvada and Descovy. PrEP has brought us closer to the realization of an HIV/AIDS generation, but that hasn’t come without a large fight. Let’s take a look at how we got here:

April 24, 1980: Ken Horne a San Francisco resident is reported to the CDC with Kaposi’s sarcoma. A year later, the CDC retroactively identifies him as the first patient of the AIDS epidemic in the US. 

May 18, 1981: Lawrence Mass is the first journalist to write about the AIDS epidemic in the gay newspaper, New York Native. Mass echoed a NYC public-health official’s claims that there was no surge of disease sweeping through the gay community. 

January 1982: The Gay Men’s Health Crisis is founded by Larry Kramer and others in New York City. 

September 17, 1985: US President Ronald Reagan finally explicitly mentions AIDS for the first time when questioned about the lack of research funding by an AP reporter during a press conference. 

March 1987: AZT, the first antiretroviral drug, became available to treat HIV. 

March 1987: ACT UP, a direct-action advocacy group, was founded by Larry Kramer in New York City. 

December 1, 1988: the first World AIDS Day takes place. 

November 2002: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the first rapid diagnostic HIV test kit for use in the United States. The kit has a 99.6% accuracy and can provide results in as little as twenty minutes. 

July 2012: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The drug can be taken by adults who do not have HIV but are at risk for the disease. People can now take this medication to reduce their risk of contracting the virus through sexual activity. 

2017: MISTR, a service providing free online PrEP and STI testing delivered straight to your door is founded by Tristan Schukraft.  

If you’re ready to PrEP for success, sign up HERE