Accredited to years of hard work, Carolina ranks number three among the top 10 universities conducting HIV research in the world. The University’s expertise in this field not only provides hope for a cure for HIV, but for COVID-19 as well.
“Virtually every HIV expert on this campus has been assigned or repurposed, in one way or another, to work on COVID-19,” said Myron Cohen, director of the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, “because they are able to deal with emerging pathogens after dealing with HIV for 30 to 40 years.”
Having experienced the outbreak and development of the HIV pandemic since 1982, Carolina researchers are able to effectively apply the skills they’ve learned to tackle the current pandemic.
“HIV has taught us how to approach problems,” Cohen said. “It took us literally 20 years to understand the rules of transmission and to become good at some of the things we’re trying to do. For COVID-19, it’s taken us 20 weeks to get to at least some of the same points. This isn’t just a story about HIV. It’s a story about people working together successfully.”