HIV/AIDS Marks 40th Anniversary of first US diagnosis

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Albany Medical Center sign

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Thursday, marks the forty-year anniversary of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. first encounter with another global disease, identified in parts of the country.

Considered a death sentence in the 1980s, the disease’s mortality rate significantly dropped by the mid-1990s through drug and clinical research that Albany Med played a role in, said medical director of HIV Medicine Dr. Cyndi Miller.

Unlike Covid-19, HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system that is transmitted through body fluids such as blood, rendering unprotected sex, blood transfusions, and sharing needles a risk.

While there still is no cure for HIV, groundbreaking advances mean most patients can live a normal lifespan said Dr. Miller, One unfortunate aspect remains, though. “People feel ashamed about contracting HIV. Sadly, we’re still fighting that part of it 40 years later.”

Each year, HIV Medicine sees approximately 1,500 patients from northeastern New York and western New England at its Albany office, which remains the only state-designated AIDS Center in the region.

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