SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control first reported on a strange outbreak of pneumonia that had been noticed in five gay men in Los Angeles. That disease soon became known as AIDS.

CBS 5’s Hank Plante was one of the first journalists in the nation to report on the disease. The station was awarded two national Emmy’s and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for early coverage of the epidemic.

Part 1: The Early Days Of The AIDS Epidemic
1981 in San Francisco, and the great gay and lesbian party of liberation was in full swing. And ground zero of the party was the city’s Castro District. But as the party rolled on, there was an unknown guest. Moving in as silently as the fog, there was a virus.

Part 2: Man Apparently ‘Cured’ Of AIDS

Timothy Ray Brown tested positive for HIV in 1995. The man, who now lives in the Bay Area, has entered the scientific journals as the first man to have the disease eliminated from his body.

Part 3: Testing Remains Important In Fighting Epidemic

In the Bay Area, and in San Francisco in particular, progress has been made in recent years to bring down the number of new HIV infections. But nationwide, close to 1 in 5 people who are HIV positive don’t know they’re carrying the virus.

Part 4: Modern Treatment Helps AIDS Patients Live Longer

30 years ago, the average life expectancy of an AIDS patient was 18 months. But thanks to modern treatment, people with the virus are living full, long lives. Researchers are even looking at the effects of HIV and aging.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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