It was dubbed the `gay plague’ when it surfaced as a medical curiosity in 1981. 25 years later, the world’s deadliest epidemic has still not reached its peak.
It began merely as a medical curiosity.
On June 5, 1981, the weekly report of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta noted that something had attacked the immune systems of five homosexual men in Los Angeles, causing an uncommon form of pneumonia. Two of them had died.
A month later, a second report noted another puzzling anomaly: the number of gay men afflicted with a rare skin cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma was on the increase.
Only a few American newspapers picked up the findings, headlining the homosexual angle. But they didn’t know what to make of the information.
Nor did the scientists.