1.2. History of discovery
Immunodeficiency virus exists broadly in nature — many species of animals are infected by it. The immunodeficiency virus (IDV) which was found in monkeys is very similar to the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV appears to have spread to humans from monkeys infected with the immunodeficiency virus in the early twenties of the last century.
The virus began to spread throughout the world in the 1970s, when a few cases of the disease similar to AIDS were described. However, HIV infection became officially recgnized only in 1981, after publishing articles about cases of unusual development of Pneumocystis and Kaposi's Sarcoma.
In 1982, the term "AIDS-acquired immune deficiency syndrome” was proposed for the disease, based on the description of cases with similar symptoms.
HIV was discovered in 1983 in two laboratories — in France and the United States - independently of each other. The results of the discovery were published in the journal Science, where it was reported that a new retrovirus could cause AIDS.
Diagnostic tests for HIV antibodies in the blood - ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) - were developed later, in 1985.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared December 1, 1988, to be World AIDS Day. Each year AIDS victims are honored on the third Sunday of May. The symbol of this movement is the Red Ribbon pinned to clothing.
In 1992, HIV management began to include a three-component therapy comprising a combination of three medications with different mechanisms acting on the virus. The pioneer medications could not provide an adequate level of management, but now, thanks to the advances in medicine, this approach to management is considered to be the best and is applied universally.
In 2008, the scientists Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France) were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus.