On June 5, 1981, the CDC published a note in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that five gay men in Los Angeles had been treated for a rare fungal infection of the lungs caused by a severely weakened immune system. What nobody knew at that time was that this would be the first officially reported case of AIDS in the US. Four decades later, the search for an HIV cure continues.
The lifesaving advancements made since those dark days are the legacy of researchers and advocates who worked tirelessly under the shadow of a terrifying new disease. As we reflect on 40 years of AIDS, let’s hear from one of the folks who was on the front lines.
In the latest episode of Fenway Health’s Pride in Our Health podcast, we chat with Dr. Kenneth H. Mayer, Fenway Health Medical Research Director and Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute. Dr. Mayer made the first diagnoses of AIDS in New England here at Fenway Health, and led early research efforts in Boston to find the cause of HIV/AIDS and identify antibodies.
Listen to the episode here or subscribe to Pride in Our Health on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.