When the HIV virus was first identified as the cause of AIDS, people never imagined there would still be no cure 35 years later. What's happened in all that time? What is taking so long? In this seminar, we will read about the milestones of HIV research and discuss why finding a cure or vaccine has proven to be very difficult. Students can expect to learn about the life cycle of the HIV virus, methods of transmission, current tools for research, and social and political issues associated with the epidemic. We will examine different approaches to studying HIV and assess what is still unknown about its biology. Taking this course qualifies you to apply for the Thailand short-term field course offered by Megan Dobro and GEO in the summer. A fair warning: this is a science course taught by a biologist, with a bit of a social science lens. Students should be willing to study beginner molecular biology in this course.