Origin Of AIDS In The U.S.

The first known cases of AIDS in the U.S., in the beginning of the 1980s, was a baffling mystery to scientists; it affected only homosexuals. When it was finally determined to be an immunodeficiency disease, it was named Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). Only after gays objected to the stigma was the name changed to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

By the end of 1981, there were 270 reported cases of severe immune deficiency among gay men -- 121 of them had died. By 2015, a staggering 1.1 million people in the U.S. were infected with HIV (the AIDS virus). In that year, 68% of all new HIV infections were homosexuals, although they accounted for only around 2% of the population. In 2016 alone, there were an estimated 39,000 new HIV infections.