How AIDS Remained an Unspoken—But Deadly—Epidemic for Years

By the end of 1984, AIDS had already ravaged the United States for several years, affecting at least 7,700 people and killing more than 3,500 people. Scientists had identified the cause of AIDS – HIV – and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had identified all of its main routes of transmission.

However, the American leaders remained largely silent and did not respond to the health emergency. And it wasn’t until September 1985, four years after the onset of the crisis, that President Ronald Reagan made public mention of AIDS for the first time.

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