The purpose of the PrEP SWG is to foster interdisciplinary basic, clinical, and implementation science approaches for promoting HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in key populations across North Carolina.
(1) create a centralized hub for PrEP-related research endeavors across UNC’s allied health campuses
(2) promote high-impact, multidisciplinary research to characterize barriers to PrEP uptake among key populations in NC and develop sustainable strategies that reduce or eliminate those barriers
(3) disseminate clinical best practices and key advances in PrEP by bringing together community stakeholders and UNC experts in biomedical prevention, public health, and implementation science
(4) encourage new investigators to study biomedical HIV prevention by creating opportunities for networking, mentorship, and collaboration with mid-career and senior experts in the field
Because there is not yet a vaccine for HIV, our best chance to end the epidemic is to prevent new infections through combination packages and eliminate existing reservoirs of virus in the population. The NC HIV Prevention SWG emphasizes academic-public health partnerships and traditional and molecular epidemiological approaches to understanding HIV transmission in the state, while the Cure SWG is focused on basic and translational science approaches to characterizing and reversing HIV latency.
Christopher Hurt, MD – Co-Leader
Dr. Christopher Hurt is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He is a board-certified infectious diseases (ID) physician with expertise in the epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). With respect to HIV, Dr. Hurt has a clinical and research focus on young, Black men who have sex with men (MSM), with NIH career development award funding to examine HIV testing behaviors in this key population (K23MH099941). He has 10 years’ experience working collaboratively with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC-DHHS) on issues related to HIV treatment and prevention, including the state’s well-known acute HIV infection intervention (STAT) program. Since 2014, he has led efforts to expand the availability of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by educating key stakeholders under the auspices of the NC AIDS Training and Education Center (NCATEC), a HRSA-funded program housed at UNC Chapel Hill. He was named co-director of NCATEC in April 2017. Dr. Hurt also works with the UNC Global HIV Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit on multiple PrEP-related studies in the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), including 073 (site principal investigator), 077 (lead co-investigator), 083 (site principal investigator), and 085 (lead co-investigator).
David Wohl, MD – Co-Leader
Dr. David Wohl is a Professor of Medicine in the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He is Site Leader of the UNC AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at Chapel Hill and Co-Directs HIV Services for the North Carolina Department of Correction. In 2011, Dr. Wohl also became Director of the North Carolina AIDS Training and Education Center (NCATEC). Dr. Wohl’s research interests fall into two major areas: the metabolic complications of HIV and its therapies and the nexus between incarceration and the HIV epidemic. He has chaired several related AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) studies and receives NIH funding for his corrections related research. Dr. Wohl serves as a member of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) HIV treatment guidelines panel and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV study review section. In addition to his research and administrative activities, Dr. Wohl maintains a large HIV continuity clinic at UNC and sees patients at the NC state prison.