CFAR News & Announcements

Early-Stage Investigator Spotlight – Dr. Tiffany Breger at the 27th Annual National CFAR Meeting

Dr. Tiffany Breger attended the 27th Annual CFAR Meeting as an Early-Stage Investigator scholarship recipient at which she presented her research on statin uptake among participants in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study and Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Among nearly 1700 men and women indicated for statin treatment between 2014 and 2018 (based on 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines), Dr. Breger found that only 20% initiated statins within two years. Results revealed striking racial disparities in the incidence of statin initiation; the two-year incidence of statin uptake was 8 percentage points lower among Black versus non-Black men with an indication for treatment. Moreover, the research highlighted significant differences in statin initiation by clinical and behavioral risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Better understanding and addressing barriers to timely statin initiation will be critical to reduce the growing burden of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. This is important now more than ever given that eligibility for

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In Memory of Dr. Ada Adimora

It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of UNC CFAR’s Co-Director, Ada Adimora, Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Medicine and professor of epidemiology. Dr. Adimora, a brilliant and compassionate physician scientist, left an indelible mark in our program, department, and the broader medical community. Dr. Adimora worked at UNC as a national and international leader for more than three decades. She was committed to improving the care of underserved populations and she was a tireless and fearless advocate for women living with HIV and at risk for HIV.  Dr. Adimora was loved and admired by all those she touched, and her loss leaves a gap that cannot be filled. We will miss Ada and her creativity, warmth, passion, and courage. For funeral arrangements and more of Dr. Adimora’s accomplishments, click here.

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UNC-Chapel Hill Named National HIV Residency Pathway Consortium Site

UNC-Chapel Hill was recently named a National HIV Residency Pathway Consortium Site and awarded a year-long, $68,000 grant to support its efforts in training family medicine and internal medicine residents in caring for people with HIV. UNC’s site Investigators, Rick Moore, MD, and Louise Rambo King, MD, have a storied history of caring for patients with HIV. For the full story on UNC’s School of Medicine website, click here.

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A Community With a Fierce Commitment to Ending HIV: The UNC CFAR Turns 25 in December

This article has been reposted from UNC’s Institute of Global Health and Infectious Disease website. To see the full article, please click here.   1) What is CFAR? Swanstrom: “UNC CFAR is one of 19 NIH Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) programs across the US that promote high quality AIDS research projects, providing administrative and shared support. It enhances and coordinates expertise, resources, and services, not otherwise readily obtained through more traditional funding mechanisms. “Comprising UNC, the RTI and FHI 360, the consortium significantly adds to the breadth of HIV research. RTI is focused on both contract and grant-funded research, largely domestic but expanding into international work. FHI 360 has almost an exclusively international contract and research portfolio, along with an international service mission largely supported by USAID and charitable foundations. The complementary strengths of these institutions–combined with UNC’s strengths as a major research university with five health affairs schools: Medicine, Public Health,

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HOPWA Funding Saved!

The Davidson Amendment to defund HOPWA was defeated 282-144 in Wednesday night’s vote. This is a significant win and demonstrates the power of our community.  HOPWA, or Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS program, helps over 50,000 households secure housing and supports more than 100,000 more with essential services. Defeating the Davidson Amendment means we’ve helped to safeguard this lifeline, and prevented thousands of people living with HIV from facing houselessness.  While this initial victory was pivotal, the fight for adequate HIV funding (including increased funds for HOPWA) continues. This vote showed that there were 144 members of Congress who did not and do not see the vital importance of programs like HOPWA. We must keep the momentum going and continue to reach out to representatives and tell them the life-saving nature of these services. Let’s take a moment to celebrate this success and the power of solidarity, while staying

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UNC CFAR’s 25th Annual World AIDS Day Symposium

World AIDS Day is recognized on December 1st, and is a global occasion of unity, bringing together people worldwide impacted by HIV. It serves as a day for individuals to come together, share their experiences, commemorate those we’ve lost, and stand in solidarity against HIV. Despite significant progress in the four decades since the first recorded cases of AIDS, this disease still poses a substantial public health challenge. World AIDS Day provides a chance for communities and individuals everywhere to pay tribute to the 32 million-plus lives lost to AIDS-related illnesses worldwide. UNC CFAR will be holding their annual World AIDS Day Symposium on December 1st, 2023, in the Bioinformatics Auditorium. Breakfast and Refreshments will be served.  Please RSVP for the event HERE. See the schedule below for the speakers and topics! 9:15am – 9:30am – Welcome/Introduction by Ron Swanstrom, PhD9:30am – 10:00am – Pediatric HIV Vaccines – New Horizons by

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NICHD Grant Award Enables Researchers To Address Reasons For Vertical Transmission of HIV in Malawi As the Country Pursues Elimination Goals: Integrated Educational Cores Represent the Best of Capacity Building with Malawian Health Leaders

Under the leadership of Mina Hosseinipour, MD, MPH, the NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), has funded the project “Preventing Infant Infections with Implementation Science in Malawi.” (PRI3SM). The program, in partnership with the Republic of Malawi’s Ministry of Health, comprises three studies to address gaps in prevention services, striving for the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV, aligned with an integrated training framework that highlights ‘homegrown’ early investigators as leaders of the projects. UNC CFAR Developmental awardee, Maganizo Chagomerana, MS, Ph.D., is among UNC-Project Malawian faculty in leadership on the project (L-R) Tisungane Mvalo, MD; Michael Herce, MD, MSc; Agatha Bula, PhD, MPH, RNM; Maganizo Chagomerana, PhD; Friday Saidi, MD; Mina Hosseinipour, MD, MPH; Sarah Rutstein, MD, PhD; Charity Nakanga, MBBS, MSc; and Lameck Chinula, MD. UNC-Project Malawian faculty in leadership roles include Friday Saidi, MD (OB/GYN), Lameck Chinula, MD (OB/GYN), Tisungane Mvalo, MD (Pediatrics), Mitch Matoga, MBBS, PhD candidate (Implementation Science),

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Gut Microbiome Can Increase Risk, Severity of HIV, EBV Disease

UNC School of Medicine researchers Angela Wahl, PhD, Balfour Sartor MD, J. Victor Garcia, PhD, and colleagues created a germ-free mouse model to evaluate the role of the microbiome in the infection, replication, and pathogenesis of HIV and Epstein-Barr virus, the virus that can cause mononucleosis and other serious diseases. Recent research has shown that the bacteria and other microbes in our gut play a supporting role in immunity, metabolism, digestion, and the fight against “bad bacteria” that try to invade our bodies. However, new research published in Nature Biotechnology by Angela Wahl, PhD, Balfour Sartor, MD, J. Victor Garcia, PhD, and UNC School of Medicine colleagues, has revealed that the microbiome may not always be protective against human pathogens. Angela Wahl, PhD Using a first-of-its-kind precision animal model with no microbiome (germ-free), researchers have shown that the microbiome has a significant impact on the acquisition of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

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