How come people could get and die from AIDS in the 80s and 90s but now now?

In the 80s, to my understanding, you could get AIDS, right off the bat, no HIV first and die in like a year, but now the people at std clinics say “you can’t get AIDS anymore, you have to have HIV first” this makes no sense to me, how did AIDS just disappear? Can people still get AIDS without first having hiv?
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