FOR THE PEOPLE
DAN SEARS ’ 74
Mike Cohen has been in the battle against the AIDS epidemic since it started.
In Stopping HIV Transmission, a Home Run
Aman with hemophilia checked into UNC Hospitals in 1981. Dr. Myron Cohen was there for what turned
out to be the system’s first case of AIDS.
Cohen has been fighting to stop the
transmission of the deadly epidemic ever
“It’s been like rolling a boulder up a
hill,” Cohen said with a smile. Recently the
self-proclaimed Sisyphus has found himself
pinned under a landslide of interview
requests from media, both local and
He says he never expected to see the
day when his research as director of the
UNC Institute for Global Health and
Infectious Diseases would pay off as powerfully as it did this year.
In May, the National Institutes of Health
called Cohen to tell him and his team of
researchers that it had recommendations for
their six-year study
attempting to stop
transmission of HIV,
the virus that causes
AIDS, from an infected person to his or her
uninfected sexual partner.
The treatment reduced transmission
between partners by 96 percent.
subjects were given
ment drugs earlier
than currently recommended by the World
This treatment reduced the transmission
of AIDS between partners by 96 percent.
Only one transmission event occurred
among couples who received the immediate treatment.
The board recommended the study be
completed earlier than the original 2015
date so that the results could be made
“This new finding convincingly demonstrates that treating the infected individual
— and doing so sooner rather than later —
can have a major impact on reducing HIV
transmission,” said National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr.