James Curran, MD, MPH, Dean and Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, delivered a presentation to MUSC faculty and staff on the knowledge and research evolution of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and globally on Friday, April 26. His lecture, “Advancing Global Health and HIV/AIDS at Emory University,” offered keen insight into combatting what has been an interminable problem since HIV/AIDS’ discovery in the 1980s.
From his early work with the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic, Dr. Curran and his colleagues sought to teach the broader HIV/AIDS research community that this disease was unlike any other treatable or curable sexually-transmitted infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV/AIDS Task Force, led by Dr. Curran, conducted landmark studies across the globe that contributed to the progress made to date. Dr. Curran lamented that although efforts have been hard fought, people—from scientists to HIV/AIDS patients—are vital in combatting the spread of this disease. HIV/AIDS facilitating factors are causing a growing social and economic epidemic outside its biological complexities: disproportionate incidence/prevalence rates among the poor and dispossessed, stigmatization and status of women in global societies contribute to the disease’s persistence.
Dr. Curran stressed the value of universities expanding global health programs in research and education in order to advance science and to meet growing student demand. Dr. Curran ended his lecture on a note of glowing optimism, charging those in the room with the task of changing the global health landscape through our most valuable resource: people.
For information on Emory University's Global Health Institute, please visit http://www.globalhealth.emory.edu/