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26 Powerful Photos Of The US AIDS Crisis In The '80s

In 1981, the first cases of the illness were reported. By the end of the decade, the World Health Organization had estimated up to 400,000 present cases of HIV/AIDS worldwide.

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New York Post Archives / The New York Post via Getty Imag

Westchester County correctional officers in New York in charge of inmates in the hospital ward wear special garb due to the uncertainty of AIDS, June 15, 1983.

New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Priscilla Diaz, 36, is reunited with her children Jasmin, 7, and twins Saul and Christian, 5, at her home in the Bronx, New York City. Hospital officials said Diaz contracted HIV from her husband, a drug abuser who had died due to AIDS several months prior.

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Bernard Bisson / Getty Images

Two Christian residents of New York City protest the gay rights bill being discussed by Congress that would guarantee equality regardless of sexual orientation.

Taro Yamasaki / Getty Images

Sixteen-year-old Ryan White, who had AIDS, smiles with his new friends in the hall of Hamilton Heights High School in Hamilton County, Indiana. Ryan White died as a result of his illness in 1990, only weeks before his graduation.

Patrick and Lauren Burk (left) pose with their children, Dwight, 1, and Nicole, 4, in their trailer home in Cresson, Pennsylvania. Patrick, 27, contracted HIV through blood transfusions he took because of his hemophilia. He transmitted the virus to his wife, who then passed it on to their son, who was born with HIV. Debbie (right), a Child Care Technician at the Farano Center in Albany, New York, plays with a child with AIDS.

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The Washington Post / Getty Images

A young brother and sister are among the many HIV patients at the Harlem Hospital Center in New York City, March 10, 1987. Their mother abandoned them after birth.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Rev. Fred Tondalo of Ft. Lauderdale passes out condoms and AIDS information to students on spring break and others walking along the highway strip.

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Peter Southwick / AP

An AIDS testing kit approved by the FDA is displayed in Boston on Dec. 13, 1988. The test was developed by the Cambridge Bioscience Corp. of Worcester, Massachusetts, and would allow for faster results for individuals who want to be tested.

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New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Demonstrators stage a protest at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, demanding national attention and research funding; 111 people were arrested, including 43 inside the cathedral who disrupted Mass.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

A protester is carried away from the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, on Oct. 11, 1988, during a demonstration against the federal government's AIDS policy.

Police (left) arrest one of several dozen demonstrators who blocked streets near New York's City Hall to protest Mayor Ed Koch's AIDS policies in March 1989. Martha Garrett (right) holds up a sign during a rally in Boston, prior to the second annual walk to benefit AIDS research in 1987. Garrett's cousin died of AIDS in 1986.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Two men embrace as they listen to speeches at a candlelight vigil for those who died of AIDS at the Capitol Reflecting Pool in Washington DC, Oct. 8, 1983.

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