HIV/AIDS and STIs

UNC is home to a top-ranked HIV/AIDS program. The Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases at UNC is at the center of this campus-wide effort, where scientists, researchers and clinicians from all over campus collaborate on all aspects of the epidemic. Since then, 25 million people have died from AIDS worldwide, and 34 million are now living with HIV.

The institute has been at the forefront of many of the advances in prevention and treatment that have turned AIDS from a death sentence to a manageable, chronic illness with a normal lifespan.

The institute’s global HIV/AIDS enterprise includes research, clinical trials, and prevention initiatives in North Carolina, Malawi, China, Zambia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, and elsewhere around the world. Between 2008 and 2012, the University received approximately $430 million in external research funding for HIV.

IGHID director Myron Cohen is the leader of the multinational study HPTN 052, which in 2011 rocked the HIV community when results showed that early treatment with antiretroviral therapy reduced sexual transmission of the virus by at least 96 percent. The findings were named 2011 “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science Magazine. This research has inspired the world to imagine an AIDS-free generation. IGHID is also home to the largest HIV cure initiative in the world.

Major Programs

Acute HIV Initiative

UNC faculty pioneered the development and promulgation of a technique to cheaply identify patients recently infected with HIV. This has led to a statewide program in North Carolina and at UNC Hospitals, as well as several other states in the U.S. and around the globe. Investigators study the virology, immune response, treatment and behavior of patients recently infected with HIV and design strategies to interrupt transmission. Contact: Cindy Gay

The BAT Lab at UNC

The Behavior and Technology Lab or BAT Lab at UNC seeks to facilitate health behavior change through conducting technology-based research on all aspects of sexual health including factors that impact the acquisition and transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Contact: Lisa Hightow-Weidman

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Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)

UNC is one of eighteen NIH Centers for AIDS Research. The CFAR has clinical, behavioral, immunological, pharmacological, statistical, virologic, international, developmental and administrative cores to support HIV research. Contact: Ron Swanstrom

Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE)

CARE is a consortium of leading scientific experts in the field of HIV latency. Led by UNC, it includes nine U.S. academic research institutions and Merck Research Laboratories, working together to find a cure for HIV.  CARE is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored program known as the Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure, named in honor of the late AIDS activist, Martin Delaney. Contact: David Margolis

Criminal Justice Working Group

The Criminal Justice Working Group was created to develop a forum for research and discussion on the nexus between the epidemics of incarceration and HIV. The group includes patient-oriented researchers, behavioral scientists, sociologists, virologists, and state public health officials and meets regularly to plan and implement research. Contact: David Wohl

Global HIV Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)

Continuously funded since 1987, the UNC Global CTU is one of the leading HIV prevention clinical trials units in the country in terms of study accrual and enrollment of women and African-Americans. The unit oversees research sites in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and Greensboro, North Carolina, and in 2013 it was reconfigured to include sites in Lilongwe, Malawi and Lusaka, Zambia. Faculty in the UNC Global CTU have published landmark papers on the treatment of HIV and its opportunistic infections as well as HIV prevention. Contact: Joe Eron (NC), Mina Hosseinipour (Malawi), Jeff Stringer (Zambia)

Health on Wheels

Health on Wheels is a fully equipped mobile unit is the centerpiece of a program designed to bring clinical research opportunities to people across NC. The unit is used to conduct study visits in rural areas and as part of disease awareness and testing activities.  Contact: Paul Camarena.

HIV Secondary Prevention Working Group

This group emerged from the observation that patients with established HIV infection may contribute greatly to the epidemic, and the sexual and other risky behavior of UNC clinic patients is the subject of intense study. UNC has received support from NIH, CDC, and HRSA to develop innovative strategies for secondary transmission prevention. Investigators in this group study methods to prevent both primary and secondary HIV transmission. Contact: Lisa Hightow-Weidman

ID Clinic

The University of North Carolina Infectious Diseases Clinic (UNC ID Clinic) specializes in treating people with infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB, other sexually transmitted diseases, and acute and chronic infections. Outpatient medicine is a critical infectious diseases activity, and the UNC ID Clinic meets five days each week in a large and modern facility in UNC Hospitals. Located on the first floor of NC Memorial Hospital, the clinic provides care for more than 2300 patients. The clinic provides treatment of infections in returning travelers. A variety of outpatient infectious diseases are evaluated by the consult service. Contact: Claire Farel

Maternal and Child Transmission of HIV Group

A number of faculty are interested in examining the mechanisms of and methods to interrupt HIV transmission with ongoing research and care programs in Malawi, Russia, and Zambia.

mHealth Working Group

Mobile health (mHealth) technologies have dramatically expanded in recent years. The Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases has been on the forefront of adopting and developing these new strategies to improve HIV prevention interventions. mHealth technologies, including health text messaging, mobile phone applications, and mobile optimized websites, have the potential to provide an unprecedented level of access to health resources and information as well as encourage individuals to engage in desired behaviors via their mobile phones. Contact: Lisa Hightow-Weidman

NIH HIV Prevention Trials Network

The NIH HPTN is dedicated to developing and testing interventions to prevent HIV. It is comprised of a global network of investigators from Clinical Trials Units (CTUs), and various leadership and working groups and committees charged with the scientific management and operational support of the network. In 2012, IGHID director Myron Cohen assumed co-leadership of the HPTN, with Wafaa El-Sadr (Columbia University), for a term of seven years. Contact: Myron Cohen

NIH STI Clinical Trials Group

UNC is a member institution of the national NIH STI research effort. The goal of the program is to foster, develop, and administer a research program for the prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections. The STI CTG allows rapid development of randomized clinical trials involving new STI diagnostics and therapies including vaccines, topical microbicides, and novel antibiotic utilization. Contact: Arlene Seña-Soberano

QURA Therapeutics

In May 2015, UNC and GSK – a global, research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company with a legacy of success in developing treatments for HIV – announced the creation of the dedicated HIV Cure Center and a jointly owned new company, QURA Therapeutics, that will focus on discovering a cure for HIV/AIDS. This unique public-private partnership will redefine the traditional way of conducting research and create a new model to seek the breakthroughs needed to tackle an extraordinarily challenging global health issue. Contact: David Margolis

Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS)

Funded by the NIH, the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is the largest and longest running longitudinal cohort of HIV-infected and at-risk women in the United States. Since 1993, more than 4,000 women have participated, and as of July 2013, more than 3,200 women were reported in active follow-up. UNC is one of nine national WIHS study sites.  The WIHS welcomes new study concepts and research collaborations. Contact: Ada Adimora.

Training

 

Who’s Involved

HIV Clinical Research

Amanda Corbett, PharmD

Joseph Eron, MD

Michelle Floris-Moore, MD

Satish Gopal, MD, MPH

Mina Hosseinipour, MD

Angela Kashuba, PharmD

David Margolis, MD

David Wohl, MD

HIV/STI Epidemiology & Prevention

Adaora Adimora, MD

Clare Barrington, PhD

Margaret Bentley, PhD

Myron Cohen, MD

Ann Dennis, MD

Claire Farel, MD

Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH

Irving Hoffman, PA, MPH

Christopher Hurt, MD

Peter Leone, MD, MPH

Francis Martinson, MD, PhD

William Miller, MD, PhD, MPH

Kathryn Muessig, PhD

Sonia Napravnik, PhD

Audrey Pettifor, PhD

Kim Powers, PhD

Arlene Seña-Soberano, MD, MPH

Jeff Stringer, MD

Heidi Swygard, MD, MPH

Joseph Tucker, MD

Daniel Westreich, PhD

Becky White, MD, MPH

HIV/STI Basic & Translational Science

Nancie M. Archin, PhD

Paul Denton, PhD

Joseph Duncan, MD, PhD

J.Victor Garcia-Martinez, PhD

Cynthia Gay, MD, MPH

Nilu Goonetilleke, PhD

Marcia Hobbs, PhD

Isabelle Leduc, PhD

Frederick Sparling, MD

Policy

Benjamin Meier, JD, LLM

 

Recent Publications

Margolis DA, Eron J, Dejesus E, White S, Wannamaker P, et al. Unexpected finding of delayed-onset seizures in HIV-positive, treatment-experienced subjects in the phase IIb evaluation of fosdevirine (Antiviral Therapy, 2013). 

Hurt CB, Sebastian J, Hicks CB, Eron JJ. Resistance to HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors Among Clinical Specimens in the United States, 2009-2012 (Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2013). 

Soeters HM, Napravnik S, Zakharova OM, Eron JJ, Hurt CB. Opportunities for sexual transmission of antiretroviral drug resistance among HIV-infected patients in care (AIDS, 2013).

Smith MK, Rutstein SE, Powers KA, Fidler S, Miller WC, Eron JJ Jr, Cohen MS. The detection and management of early HIV infection: a clinical and public health emergency (Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency, 2013).

Henley C, Forgwei G, Welty T, Golden M, Adimora A, Shields R, Muffih PT. Scale-Up and Case-Finding Effectiveness of an HIV Partner Services Program in Cameroon: An Innovative HIV Prevention Intervention for Developing Countries (Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 2013).

Adimora AA, Schoenbach VJ, Taylor EM, Khan MR, Schwartz RJ, Miller WC. Sex ratio, poverty, and concurrent partnerships among men and women in the United States: a multilevel analysis (Annals of Epidemiology, 2013).

Adimora AA, Hughes JP, Wang J, Haley DF, Golin CE, et al; for the HPTN 064 Protocol Team. Characteristics of multiple and concurrent partnerships among women at high risk for HIV infection (Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency, 2013).

Adimora AA, Ramirez C, Auerbach JD, Aral SO, Hodder S, et al: HIV Prevention Trials Network Women at Risk Committee. Preventing HIV infection in women (Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency, 2013).

Quinlivan EB, Messer LC, Adimora AA, Roytburd K, Bowditch N, Parnell H, et al. Experiences with HIV testing, entry, and engagement in care by HIV-infected women of color, and the need for autonomy, competency, and relatedness (AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 2013). 

Messer LC, Quinlivan EB, Parnell H, Roytburd K, Adimora AA, et al. Barriers and facilitators to testing, treatment entry, and engagement in care by HIV-positive women of color (AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 2013). 

Hodder SL, Justman J, Hughes JP, Wang J, Haley DF, Adimora AA, Del Rio C, Golin CE, et al. HIV acquisition among women from selected areas of the United States: a cohort study (Annals of Internal Medicine, 2013).

Margolis DA, Eron J, Dejesus E, White S, Wannamaker P, et al. Unexpected finding of delayed-onset seizures in HIV-positive, treatment-experienced subjects in the phase IIb evaluation of fosdevirine (Antiviral Therapy, 2013). 

Spreen WR, Margolis DA, Pottage JC Jr. Long-acting injectable antiretrovirals for HIV treatment and prevention (Current Opinion on HIV/AIDS, 2013). 

Zhang G, Cai F, Zhou Z, DeVos J, Wagar N, Diallo K, Zulu I, et al. Simultaneous Detection of Major Drug Resistance Mutations in the Protease and Reverse Transcriptase Genes for HIV-1 Subtype C by Use of a Multiplex Allele-Specific Assay (Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2013). 

Mwanahamuntu MH, Sahasrabuddhe VV, Blevins M, Kapambwe S, Shepherd BE, Chibwesha C, et al. Utilization of Cervical Cancer Screening Services and Trends in Screening Positivity Rates in a ‘Screen-And-Treat’ Program Integrated with HIV/AIDS Care in Zambia (PLoS One, 2013). 

Chi BH, Stringer JS, Moodley D. Antiretroviral drug regimens to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV: a review of scientific, program, and policy advances for sub-Saharan Africa (Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 2013). 

Chi BH, Limbada MI, Giganti MJ, Li MS, Bweupe M, et al. Nonvirologic algorithms for predicting HIV infection among HIV-exposed infants younger than 12 weeks of age (Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 2013). 

Stringer JS, Stinson K, Tih PM, Giganti MJ, Ekouevi DK,  et al. Measuring coverage in MNCH: population HIV-free survival among children under two years of age in four African countries (PLoS One, 2013). 

Wohl DA, Kendall MA, Feinberg J, Alston-Smith B, Owens S, et al. The Clinical Impact of Continuing to Prescribe Antiretroviral Therapy in Patients with Advanced AIDS Who Manifest No Virologic or Immunologic Benefit (PLoS One, 2013). 

Cohen MS, Smith MK, Muessig KE, Hallett TB, Powers KA, Kashuba AD. Antiretroviral treatment of HIV-1 prevents transmission of HIV-1: where do we go from here? (Lancet, 2013) 

Farel CE, Parker SD, Muessig KE, Grodensky CA, Jones C, et al. Sexuality, Sexual Practices, and HIV Risk Among Incarcerated African-American Women in North Carolina (Women’s Health Issues, 2013).

Hoffman IF, Latkin CA, Kukhareva PV, Malov SV, Batluk JV, et al.  A peer-educator network HIV prevention intervention among injection drug users: results of a randomized controlled trial in St. Petersburg, Russia (AIDS Behavior, 2013).

Patel MR, Yotebieng M, Behets F, Vanden Driessche K, Nana M, Van Rie A. Outcomes of integrated treatment for tuberculosis and HIV in children at the primary health care level (International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2013). 

Wohl DA, Arnoczy G, Fichtenbaum CJ, Campbell T, Taiwo B, Hicks C, et al. Comparison of cardiovascular disease risk markers in HIV-infected patients receiving abacavir and tenofovir: the nucleoside inflammation, coagulation and endothelial function (NICE) study (Antiviral Therapy, 2013).

Krisko JF, Martinez-Torres F, Foster JL, Garcia JV. HIV restriction by APOBEC3 in humanized mice (PLoS Pathogens, 2013).

Gopal S, Patel MR, Yanik EL, Cole SR, Achenbach CJ, et al. Temporal trends in presentation and survival for HIV-associated lymphoma in the antiretroviral therapy era (Journal of National Cancer Institute, 2013).

Soeters HM, Napravnik S, Zakharova OM, Eron JJ, Hurt CB. Opportunities for sexual transmission of antiretroviral drug resistance among HIV-infected patients in care (AIDS, 2013).

Archin NM, Liberty AL, Kashuba AD, Choudhary SK, Kuruc JD, et al.  Administration of vorinostat disrupts HIV-1 latency in patients on antiretroviral therapy (Nature, 2012).

Cohen MS, Chen YQ, McCauley M, Gamble T, Hosseinipour MC, et al.  Prevention of HIV-1 infection with early antiretroviral therapy (New England Journal of Medicine 2011).