Thirty years ago scientists discovered the first cases of AIDS in the U.S. At that point there weren’t even names for the disease, and contracting the HIV virus was in virtually every case a death sentence.
The struggle against AIDS may be global, but the City of Chicago plays its part in the fight. Over 20,000 Chicagoans suffer from the disease, according to statistics released by the Department of Public Health in November of 2010. City government may not dedicate dollars toward the kind of medical research that could someday lead to a vaccine or cure, but it does funnel money to local groups that provide testing, prevention, education, and treatment.
The AIDS pandemic is almost 30 years old. Sixty million people have been infected with HIV – more than the combined populations of California and New York. Thirty million people have died – about the population of Venezuela.