Beginning of neoliberalism in the US and focused on small government, spending cuts, privatization, and individual responsibility. Refused to acknowledge the AIDS epidemic for years. Inaction resulted in thousands of deaths.
FDA Bans All Blood Donations From "MSMs"
Approx. January 4, 1983 - December 21, 2015
Framed gay men as a medical liability, still not entirely eradicated.
Proposal of NYC Needle Exchange Program
Approx. September 15, 1985 - November 7, 1988
Proposal of needle exchange program initially shot down due to concerns that it would encourage use of drugs among youth. Blame for disease placed on drug users’ personal choice.
Reagan Publicly Addresses AIDS Epidemic for the First Time
September 17, 1985
First major public speech on the issue did not come until April 1, 1987
In 1987, the U.S. placed a travel ban on visitors/immigrants with HIV. This ban was lifted by President Obama in 2010.
Ryan White CARE Act Enacted
August 18, 1990
Largest Federal program specifically addressing the needs of individuals with HIV/AIDS. Named after Ryan White, a child who was diagnosed with HIV after being treated for his hemophilia. Became poster-boy for HIV/AIDS in order to get American public to sympathize with patients.
Zimbabwe Receives Conditional Aid from the U.S.
The average economic growth in Zimbabwe during the 80s was about 4% a year. Food security and life expectancy increased, and child mortality decreased by almost half. In 1991, Zimbabwe recieved a $484 million loan from the U.S. which was conditional on the "structural adjustment of its economy". Demands for the loan included "reducing public spending, deregulating the financial market, eliminating manufacturing protections, liberalizing the labor market, reducing the minimum salary", etc. Zimbabwe's economy ended up falling into a recession a year later, seeing unemployment, salary reduction and heightening food prices. Most of the population was left without health services, medicine, or care. 2,500 people continue to die of AIDS nearly ever week. The IMF has claimed that Zimbabwe has not accepted the recommended economic reforms.
FDA Approves Combivir
1997 - Present
Combivir, like ART, is one of the current treatments for HIV. It combines two drugs into one medication which makes treating HIV easier. By 2010, there were at least 20 different treatment options/generic options which has lowered costs in treating the disease. Since 1997, new treatment has caused a 47% decline in death rates.
Bush Announces Programs in Africa for ART
Bush announced a $15 million to provide antiretroviral drugs to those located in 12 African countries. This decision was made based on the claim that AIDS is delaying economic growth by reducing productivity. In the neoliberal economy, it is not the population's health needs that is important, but rather how well patients present as "clients". These loans were serving the financial interests of the large-scale pharmaceutical industry.
FDA Approves Truvada for PrEP
July 16, 2012
There is still a lot of stigma surrounding PrEP that prevents some individuals from taking it. Some associate the drug with sexually promiscuous behavior.