In July 1981, James Curran MD was appointed the Coordinator of the CDC “Task Force on Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections.” During the next 15 years, with nearly a dozen changes of title, he remained the Director of AIDS and HIV epidemiology and prevention activities at the CDC.
After the 2009 release of the documentary House of Numbers, the numerous parmaceutically-funded activists who objected to the film alleged that the statements of “experts” like Curran were taken out of context. Although Dr. Curran’s name was not listed among those who objected, filmmaker Brent Leung released a series of unedited interviews from the film so that viewers could decide for themselves.
In this clip, Dr. Curran shares his perspective of the history of HIV. When asked about who sets the criteria for HIV diagnosis, Dr. Curran declares that HIV test manufacturers and the FDA set the criteria for HIV testing (26:26). Although the FDA and test manufacturers claim that diagnoses must be performed by physicians and that the tests cannot be used to diagnose HIV, physicians like Curran claim that the tests can be used.
If human lives and freedoms were not at stake, the confusion the film exposes would be hilarious.