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Strange Fruit: Naveen Jain Wants to Develop an HIV Vaccine — and Give It Away

Laura Ellis

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Naveen Jain is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Immunity Project, a non-profit dedicated to developing an HIV vaccine and giving it away for free to anyone who needs it.

Jain said his father’s illness brought his attention to the flaws in the pharmaceutical industry.

“As we were going through this process with him, and he was seeing countless doctors and specialists along the way,” Jain said. “It became very clear to me that the way we treat people in our society today — in terms of the pharmaceuticals and treatments that we provide for people — are not often actual solutions. Often times they’re Band-Aids. And I think that’s really screwed up.”

Jain will be in Louisville this month for IdeaFestival, and he speaks to us this week about his work.

We also meet John Hardin, of Western Kentucky University. Hardin was one of the co-editors of a recently released volume called "The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia." Started in 2008 and published by the University Press of Kentucky, it features more than 1,000 entries from about 150 contributors, telling the story of black Kentuckians, from frontier days to the present.

And in our Juicy Fruit segment, we talk about Viola Davis' amazing speech at the Emmy Awards, and all the groundbreaking black women of television who were recognized for their work, at long last.

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.