Curran receives national AIDS award


RSPH Dean James Curran, a pioneer in HIV/AIDS prevention, is the recipient of the 2011 Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award.

Curran was recently honored by the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP), a joint project of Indiana University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Kentucky. He accepted the award at the RCAP conference last spring.

When the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, Curran led a CDC task force to investigate the epidemic and worked with the CDC and NIH to understand the cause and epidemiology of the disease within a global context. He remains an internationally known leader in the field as a professor of epidemiology at Rollins and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research.

Curran is the fourth recipient of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award, established by RCAP in 2009 and named for the rural Indiana teenager who contracted HIV through a contaminated blood treatment for hemophilia in 1984. At that time, AIDS largely was perceived as a disease that affected homosexuals. White became a national spokesperson on AIDS and helped change public perception about the disease. Following his death at age 18 in 1990, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to create the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. It remains the largest provider of services for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured patients and their families.

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