Our Leadership : History


The Miller School’s commitment to HIV/AIDS research and treatment can be traced back to 1981 when UM doctors began to see patients with immune system disorders.

The UM team contacted the CDC to request an investigation of the patients in Miami, as they believed they had the same syndrome that was being reported in the news. After numerous site visits, the CDC became convinced that the illness was identical in homosexuals and heterosexuals. In March 1983, the UM physicians published the first description of AIDS in heterosexual patients in the Annals of Internal Medicine. UM’s research continued to be critical in helping the CDC put the puzzle together. The diverse Miami community contained all the various populations affected by the epidemic. In addition to showing that Haitian patients had not contracted AIDS from IV – drug abuse or homosexual transmission, UM doctors were among the first to report AIDS patients with hemophilia and to describe women and babies with symptoms strongly indicating AIDS.

The University of Miami has demonstrated a longtime commitment to HIV clinical care and research through support of the UM Comprehensive AIDS Program (CAP), established in 1988. This program coordinates data collection, HIV surveillance, community outreach, and funding for HIV care from sources such as Ryan White Title I and the State of Florida.