The Response Before the Global Response

  • Michael Merson
  • Stephen Inrig


While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) organized its first Task Force on what came to be known as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) shortly after the first cases were reported in the United States in 1981, it took the World Health Organization (WHO) 2 years to initiate surveillance activities, and until 1985 to seriously engage in efforts against the disease. This chapter explores the reasons behind this delay, and the efforts made by researchers and institutions to explore the emerging pandemic in Africa and other low- and middle-income countries. One of these projects was the joint United States/Belgian Projet SIDA undertaken in what was then Zaire under the leadership of Jonathan Mann, which uncovered some of the most important early knowledge about the epidemiology and transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.


AIDS research Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Institutes of Health Jonathan Mann Peter Piot James (Jim) Curran Sub-Saharan Africa Projet SIDA 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Merson
    • 1
  • Stephen Inrig
    • 2
  1. 1.Duke Global Health InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Mount Saint Mary’s UniversityLos AngelesUSA

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