Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier identified HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — in 1983. The three decades since have seen wide medical and cultural advancements in our understanding of the virus. The years have also brought much hardship and controversy. Here’s a photographic history of the AIDS epidemic in the United States.
December 1985 This image shows a magnified view of the AIDS virus taken by researchers in the medical department of Tokyo’s Tottori University. The photo, magnified 350,000 times, was taken with a scanning electron microscope. Researchers said the virus of the deadly disease has a rugged surface. Nearly 30 million people have died of AIDS since the first five cases were recognized in Los Angeles in 1981. About 34 million people have HIV now, including more than 1 million in the United States. Tottori University via AP/Kyodo News Buy Photo