Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

News and Events

Reflect, Recommit, Reenergize, Reengage – Four for Forty

40 years of progress - it's time to end the HIV pandemic

On June 5th, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of AIDS Research (OAR) joins colleagues around the world to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the landmark CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that first recognized the syndrome of diseases later named AIDS.

Forty years ago, on June 5, 1981, the MMWR reported five cases of persons with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in Los Angeles, California, catalyzing a global effort that led to the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Over these past 40 years, much of the progress to guide the response to HIV has emerged from research funded by the NIH – and helped turn a once-fatal disease into the manageable chronic illness that it is today.

OAR is conducting a communications campaign that will continue through NIH’s World AIDS Day on December 1, 2021, to recognize the milestones achieved through science and pay tribute to more than 32 million people who have died from AIDS-related illness globally (including 700,000 Americans), and support the goal of Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) and worldwide.

Get Involved and Spread the Word

You can play a role in these efforts to raise awareness and spread the word. Use the resources in this 40th anniversary toolkit and tag #40YearsOfHIV when you share the posts and images in your social media.

For more social media content, and to further promote these activities, follow @NIH_OAR on Twitter and encourage your audiences interested in HIV research to subscribe to receive e-mail updates from OAR.

As OAR will be posting fresh content through December 1, 2021, remember to check in frequently to see updates and find new resources.

NIH Statement

View NIH’s statement on the MMWR 40th Anniversary.

Video Messages

OAR Director Dr. Maureen M. Goodenow


OAR Deputy Director RADM Timothy H. Holtz


Social Media Toolkit

Use these resources from NIH and federal partners to raise awareness and spread the word. Feel free to use the sample information in its entirety or tailor the content to meet your organization’s style and messaging needs.

Other Promotional Resources

This page last reviewed on January 27, 2023