On 5 June 1981, the first case study detailing an unusual cluster of pneumonia cases among gay men alerted the world to AIDS. Hover over the virus particle to see key events in the history of HIV/AIDS and the global response to it.
Pre-80s: Retrospectively the first known case of AIDS is traced to a man who died in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1959.
In 1981, the first cases of AIDS are documented.
By the end of 1982, AIDS is confirmed on five continents.
The first International AIDS Conference is held in Atlanta, US, in 1985.
In 1987, Burroughs Wellcome, one of GSK's legacy companies, makes history when antiretroviral therapy first becomes available. The drug works by stopping HIV from replicating in cells.
The red ribbon is adopted as an international symbol of AIDS awareness in 1991.
In 1992, Glaxo Wellcome establishes Positive Action, recognising the pivotal role played by communities in responding to the world's HIV/AIDS epidemics.
By the mid-1990s, one million cases of AIDS are reported to the WHO.
In 1996, UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, is set up.
In 1999, it is estimated that 33 million people are infected with HIV and 14 million have died of AIDS worldwide – making it the fourth biggest killer.
In 2002, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) is established to fight three of the world's most devastating diseases.
Five million people are newly infected with AIDS during 2003, the biggest number in a year to date. Three million die from AIDS in the same year.
In its 2006 report, UNAIDS estimates that to date, around 65 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV and AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981.
In April 2009, GSK and Pfizer set up ViiV Healthcare - a new world-leading specialist company dedicated to HIV
In July 2009, a new 'Positive Action for Children' Fund is created by ViiV Healthcare
In June 2010, ViiV Healthcare awarded 12 global grants totaling £3.6 million from the Positive Action for Children Fund.
In 2010, ViiV Healthcare actions a novel voluntary license policy that covers all least developed countries, all low income countries and all of sub-Saharan Africa – that is 80% of all people currently living with HIV.
Shionogi joined ViiV Healthcare in 2012.