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30 Years of AIDS: Dr. James Curran, Dean of Emory's Rollins School of Public Health

By Robb Nolan

September 19, 2011

In the fifth installment of our continuing six-week video series, Dr. James Curran, Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University discusses the early years of research and response to HIV/AIDS, the uncertainty of its cause, the rush to understand the epidemic fully, and the urgency to respond to the disease.

Dr. Curran shared that, "the biggest problem with HIV is that there is no vaccine and there is no cure. When I become skeptical, when I say, it's going to be very difficult to develop a vaccine, I don t see how it's possible, or how can we ever cure HIV? I think back 20 years or 30 years when people said we would never find the cause of this disease, there would never be any drugs that could treat such a viral infection, we'll never be able to determine viral load, it's not going to be possible to stop a pregnant woman from transmitting it to her child. And so the skepticism that I feel is beaten down by the accomplishments of the past."

The following video shares the full interview with Dr. Curran as he explains the early discovery of HIV/AIDS at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the courageous response to the disease led by early researchers.

Robb Nolan is the technical and video coordinator.

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