In June 1981, the CDC reported an article of 5 men who presented with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). PCP is an opportunistic infection more commonly found immunosuppressed patients (ie. patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer). The 5 men were young and otherwise healthy. They were also all homosexual.
In July 1981, another CDC article reported 26 men who presented with PCP as well as Kaposi sarcoma. Kaposi sarcoma is a rare blood vessel tumour. This could not be a coincidence and the world was on the precipice of a pandemic that would kill millions and unleash a wave of homophobia, prejudice and demonization.
Fortunately, today, HIV is a manageable disease and patients can continue to live productive and healthy lives which could not be further from this once terminal diagnosis.
This is the story of HIV.
Available via OMNY Studio on iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts with Podcast Host Steve Davis and our Dr Travis Brown Resident General Pathologist. This Pathological Life is produced by Clinpath Pathology in South Australia.