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.
1984 Gaetan Dugas, an Air Canada flight attendant shown here in an undated photo, was identified controversially as "Patient Zero" in Randy Shilts's 1987 book "And The Band Played On," about the AIDS epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control had first referred to an anonymous Patient Zero in 1984, linking him to 40 of the first 248 HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States. Dugas died of AIDS-related complications on March 30, 1984. AP Buy Photo