Candlelight AIDS memorial vigil on E. Grace Street, from St. Paul's Episcopal Church to Capitol Square, Richmond, Va.
In 1981, Dr. Michael Gottlieb of UCLA identified a new disease that, among its many signs, severely weakened the immune system. Named acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), this disease was initially seen among gay men in large cities.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), identified in 1985, is transmitted through blood, genital fluids (such as semen) and breastmilk.
The earliest confirmed case of AIDS in the U.S. was in 1968, with the first case in Virginia reported in 1982. With no known cure, HIV/AIDS was initially a death sentence for those infected.
Participants in this 1987 candlelight AIDS memorial vigil walked down E. Grace Street from St. Paul's Episcopal Churh to Capitol Square in Richmond, Va.