Physicians address ‘increasing concern’ about effects of COVID-19 among PLWH – Healio

ada adimora headshotDr. Adaora Adimora, MD MPH, recently spoke to Healio about effects of COVID-19 on people living with HIV. She states that “people with well-controlled HIV have an excellent prognosis from an HIV standpoint. There’s very little information right now concerning the effect of HIV on COVID-19,” though comorbidities “increase the severity and mortality of COVID-19.” She also highlights racial disparities related to COVID-19, noting that “this is probably in large part because of the disproportionate representation of African Americans in occupations that put them in harm’s way for infection — for example, cashiers, factory workers and home health aides . . . prisons are another huge problem, given the inadequate implementation of basic pandemic control measures, such as social distancing — and often inadequate health care in these settings. People with HIV, like other Americans, are especially vulnerable in these settings.”

Read more here at Healio. 

Cohen inducted into UNC’s Order of the Golden Fleece

Mike Cohen Headshot

Myron Cohen, MD, Yeargan-Bate Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, and Immunology and Epidemiology, Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health, Director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, and Associate Director of the UNC CFAR has been inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece.

The Order of the Golden Fleece is UNC’s oldest and highest honorary society. Read more at the UNC Health and School of Medicine Newsroom. 

COVID-19 and HIV Q&A with Dr. David Wohl

David Wohl Headshot

“What do people living with HIV need to know most about COVID-19?”

Dr. David Wohl of the UNC CFAR’s Clinical Core recently spoke with POSITIVELY AWARE Magazine about COVID-19 and HIV. Dr. Wohl is the Site Leader of the UNC HIV Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit at Chapel Hill and sees patients at UNC’s Infectious Diseases Clinic.

“Clinicians are understandably distracted, many clinics are closed, and patients are hunkered down at home. But, we still need to be able to provide HIV care whether by phone or video and make sure people have what they need until this all passes. Clinicians need to establish some clear pathway for their patients to contact them such as for a medication refill, or non-COVID-19 illness,” says Wohl. “Don’t freak out. It is hard to be separated and to not worry, to not miss the things we enjoyed but can’t do now, and not feel sad for ourselves, our communities, and our world. No one knows when this outbreak will pass, but it will. And, when we can get back to a more normal existence we will appreciate it so much more. We will rejoice in what was once the mundane and, I hope, feel closer to one another. Until then, stay home.”

Find the full article from POSITIVELY AWARE here. 

UNC and Emory Researchers Reverse HIV Latency, Important Scientific Step Toward Cure

UNC-Chapel Hill HIV researchers David Margolis, MD, and J. Victor Garcia, PhD, along with Rick Dunham from ViiV Healthcare (from left to right), photographed in UNC Genetic Medicine Building

“Overcoming HIV latency – induction of HIV in CD4+ T cells that lay dormant throughout the body – is a major step toward creating a cure for HIV. For the first time, scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill, Emory University, and Qura Therapeutics – a partnership between UNC and ViiV Healthcare – have shown that a new approach can expose latent HIV to attack in two different animal model systems with little or no toxicity.”

This story first appeared January 22, 2020 on the UNC Healthcare and School of Medicine Newsroom. 

CFAR Investigators named Highly Cited Researchers by Web of Science

Headshots of Gillings faculty members named Highly Cited Researchers (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT TOP: DR. RALPH BARIC, DR. NOEL BREWER, DR. MYRON COHEN, DR. STEPHEN COLE MIDDLE: DR. KELLY EVENSON, DR. DAVID MARGOLIS, DR. HANS PAERL BOTTOM: DR. BARRY POPKIN, DR. KURT RIBISL, DR. JASON SURRATT)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. 

National Geographic selects the multinational HPTN 052 HIV trial, led by Myron Cohen, MD, as one of the discoveries of the decade

Mike Cohen Headshot“National Geographic published an article about the top 20 scientific discoveries on the decade, including  the treatment of HIV as prevention, a concept based on Myron Cohen’s multinational HPTN 052 trial, which demonstrated that antiretroviral treatment of people with HIV infection prevents the sexual transmission of the virus. This study served as the basis for HIV “treatment as prevention” programs worldwide and it was recognized by Science Magazine as the “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2011.”

See more here at the UNC Healthcare and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom. Dr. Cohen is the Associate Director of the UNC CFAR and the Associate Director of the CFAR International Core. He also serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health and Medical Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill; the Yeargan-Bate Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, and Epidemiology; and Director of the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases.

UNC awarded $2.91 million to create new ultra-long-acting HIV drug delivery implant

“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.”

This story first appeared December 2, 2019 on the UNC Gillings School News page. 

Adimora Elected to National Academy of Medicine

ada adimora headshot

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.

This story first appeared October 29, 2019 on the UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom.