June marked the 40th anniversary of the first reported AIDS case. On the anniversary, UNAIDS released a strategy to end HIV/AIDS by 2030, a goal that seemed unthinkable over 40 years ago. Yet since 1981, the innovative scientific community has delivered a series of treatments that revolutionized the outlook for HIV/AIDS patients. Those early days of 1981 were not unlike what we experienced with coronavirus last spring. Hospitals began to see cases of a mysterious pneumonia with few options for how to treat it, just as physicians across the country struggled to identify effective treatments for COVID-19 patients last March. Indeed, Dr. Anthony Fauci – who dedicated 40 years of his career to combatting HIV/AIDS – recalled “the first few years were the darkest years of my medical career, because I was working countless hours taking care of desperately ill young men.”

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