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It began with the first five cases reported by the CDC on June 5, 1981. What would become known as HIV/AIDS struck fear in HCWs possibly only rivaled by Ebola virus. HCWs worked at mortal risk, with some dying after needlesticks or other sharps injuries that exposed them to patient blood. What was essentially a terminal diagnosis became treatable when the first antiretrovirals were developed in 1995-1996.

The Greatest Fear Healthcare Workers Have Faced

A new lethal virus appeared in the early 1980s