Discovering the Cause of AIDS

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Science  29 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5599, pp. 1726
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079874

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It is almost 20 years since HIV was first isolated and identified as the cause of AIDS. In this introductory Viewpoint, Prusiner details the early days of the AIDS epidemic and the huge task of trying to identify its cause. He introduces Viewpoints by Gallo and Montagnier, who describe the different yet complementary paths that each took to discover that HIV, a new human retrovirus, is the cause of AIDS.