Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham report a discovery of HIV-1 in a subspecies of chimpanzee. They believe this to be the source of the virus and theorize that human hunters contracted it when exposed to infected blood.
Initial findings from a joint Uganda-U.S. study identify a new drug regimen as an effective and affordable way to reduce mother-to-baby transmission of the virus.
The Clinton administration declares, for the first time, that AIDS is a threat to national security and to global stability.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson publicly takes an HIV test after the CDC reports that African-American and Hispanic infection rates have overtaken those of white gay men.
UNAIDS marks the 20th anniversary of the first report of HIV. Executive Director Peter Piot says, "At the time, I read the report with great interest, but I never imagined I was looking at the first sign of an epidemic, that in just 20 years would have infected 60 million people, killed 22 million and achieved the status of the most devastating epidemic in human history."
The FDA approves the first rapid HIV test, which produces results in less than 20 minutes. The test uses a finger prick to draw blood.
The FDA approves the first of a new type of anti-HIV drug called Fuzeon (also known as enfuvirtide or T-20). This drug is designed to prevent the entry of HIV into human cells.
The HBO TV miniseries "Angels in America" premieres, starring Al Pacino and Meryl Streep. Adapting a Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, it follows two couples as they struggle to stay together during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. It wins multiple Emmy and SAG awards.
George W. Bush launches PEPFAR, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan to combat AIDS worldwide. "This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally," according to the PEPFAR website.
For the first time, the FDA approves a generic AIDS drug made by a foreign country, allowing PEPFAR to provide cheaper medications overseas. The patent on AZT also reaches an end, allowing more generic versions of the drug.
Singer Bono launches Product Red. Profits from the line of consumer goods are designated to fight the AIDS epidemic worldwide. "I feel a bit of a fraud, a bit of a loser because we are not winning in the war against AIDS," Bono says.
Bill Gates announces that he will step down as the head of Microsoft in order to donate his time to the Gates Foundation, the largest private source of funding in the fight against HIV/AIDS.