Read more at the UNC Healthcare and School of Medicine Newsroom.
Read more at the UNC Healthcare and School of Medicine Newsroom.
CFAR Investigators Drs. Cohen, Margolis, and Cole, along with 7 other Gillings School of Global Public Health faculty members, were recently named Highly Cited Researchers, according to the Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list from the Web of Science Group. This list includes investigators who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year of publication, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers.
Read more at the Gillings School News.
“Doctoral students Katie Mollan, MS and Bonnie Shook-Sa, MAS, along with Michael Hudgens, PhD, professor of biostatistics at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, are part of an investigative team that recently received a $2.91 million award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create an ultra-long-acting implant for HIV drug delivery.
The principal investigator is J. Victor Garcia, PhD, professor of medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill. Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) biostatisticians Mollan and Shook-Sa will provide statistical expertise and guidance for this study, with mentorship from Hudgens.”
Adaora Adimora, MD, MPH, the Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), widely considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. The academy recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service throughout their careers.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will receive $19.4 million over the next seven years to continue their research on chronic illnesses that often accompany HIV infection, including cardiovascular and lung diseases, diabetes, and cancers. Almost half of people with HIV in the United States are over the age of 50 and are more likely to suffer chronic HIV-related comorbidities than infectious complications. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) selected UNC-Chapel Hill as one of the 13 Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study / Women’s Interagency HIV Study Combined Cohort Study (MACS/WIHS-CCS) sites after a competitive application process.
The MACS/WIHS-CCS is a collaborative research effort to understand and reduce the impact of chronic health conditions that affect people living with HIV. Adaora Adimora, MD, MPH, leads the UNC-Chapel Hill site, one of 13 across the country.
The students, faculty and staff of the UNC Gillings School work in more than 60 countries to address urgent global health challenges. Now, with the launch of a new global hub in Zambia, they have even more opportunities to engage — and this is just the beginning. The UNC CFAR’s International Core worked collaboratively with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health to help launch the Zambia hub.
Read more about this here in the UNC Gillings School of Public Health News.
Researchers led by Ron Swanstrom, PhD, and colleagues in South Africa, discovered that the latent HIV reservoir that persists during antiretroviral treatment mostly reflects viruses present in the blood at the start of antiretroviral treatment.
“This comes as a big surprise,” said co-senior author Ronald Swanstrom, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the UNC School of Medicine. “Our work suggests that if we could understand the reservoir-forming process better, we might be able to intervene at the start of treatment to reduce the majority of the reservoir that forms at this time.”
Both state health departments and HIV researchers at flagship universities announced the new “Carolinas United to End HIV (CUE-HIV)” partnership to decrease the number of HIV infections by 90 percent in ten years.
July 8, 2019
CHAPEL HILL, NC – Health officials and leading researchers in North Carolina and South Carolina have created a new collaborative effort to end the HIV epidemic in both states. Carolinas United to End HIV (CUE-HIV) is a partnership between the State of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the State of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Mecklenburg County Health Department, the University of South Carolina (Columbia), the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston), the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for AIDS Research (UNC CFAR).
CUE-HIV will specifically work to reduce the numbers of incident HIV infections in the Carolinas by 75 percent within five years, and by 90 percent within 10 years. This is in line with the reduction of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed through a new initiative to address the ongoing HIV public health crisis.
In a JAMA Network editorial, leading infectious diseases officials said such an ambitious initiative will “leverage critical scientific advances in HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care by coordinating the highly successful programs, resources, and infrastructure of the CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Indian Health Service (IHS). The initial phase, coordinated by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, will focus on geographic and demographic hotspots in 19 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, where the majority of the new HIV cases are reported, as well as in seven states with a disproportionate occurrence of HIV in rural areas.” Mecklenburg County in North Carolina and all counties in South Carolina fall into these categories.
The CUE-HIV collaborative was born out of the knowledge that HIV does not stop at state borders, especially in the era of social media and on-line dating. This cohesive approach will help identify and target cross-state networks particularly in rural areas where stigma is a driving impetus to find partners away from home in larger cities and counties.
CUE-HIV is an interstate collaborative created to address the disproportionate HIV burden in the Carolinas driven by our states’ unique intersection of stigma, poverty, and limited resource allocation. Our initiative employs a multifaceted strategy designed to promote awareness, decrease stigma, expand funding, and improve resource availability with one ultimate goal: ending the HIV epidemic in the Carolinas. We believe that our united front will prove far more impactful than the sum of our individual parts.
UNC School of Medicine contact: Mark Derewicz, 984-974-1915
Dr. Angela Kashuba, Director of UNC CFARs Clinical Pharmacology and Analytical Chemistry Core, has been selected to serve as the next dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. This appointment is effective October 1st. To read more about her appointment, read this letter from Robert Blouin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.
The UK PARTNER study published its findings on May 2 in the Lancet, concluding that the risk of infection between male partners is zero if the virus is fully suppressed by antiretrovirals. In the Guardian’s coverage of the study, they quote UNC CFARs Myron Cohen’s commentary on barriers to care:
“It is not always easy for people to get tested for HIV or find access to care; in addition, fear, stigma, homophobia and other adverse social forces continue to compromise HIV treatment,” he said.
“Diagnosis of HIV infection is difficult in the early stages of infection when transmission is very efficient, and this limitation also compromises the treatment as prevention strategy.”