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October 2, 1996

Pneumocystis Pneumonia—Los Angeles

JAMA. 1996;276(13):1020-1022. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540130018007

As part of its commemoration of CDC's 50th anniversary, MMWR is reprinting selected MMWR articles of historical interest to public health, accompanied by a current editorial note.

On June 4, 1981, MMWR published a report about Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in homosexual men in Los Angeles. This was the first published report of what, a year later, became known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This report and current editorial note appear below.

IN THE PERIOD October 1980-May 1981,5 young men, all active homosexuals, were treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia at 3 different hospitals in Los Angeles, California. Two of the patients died. All 5 patients had laboratory-confirmed previous or current cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and candidal mucosal infection. Case reports of these patients follow.

Patient 1: A previously healthy 33-year-old man developed P. carinii pneumonia and oral mucosal candidiasis in March 1981 after a 2-month history of fever associated