CFAR News & Announcements

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. 

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Adimora Elected to National Academy of Medicine

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.

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UNC Awarded $19.4 million to Continue National Effort to Combat HIV Comorbidities

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. This story first appeared on October 14, 2019 on the UNC Health

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UNC Gillings School launches Zambia Hub

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. This story appeared first on October 11, 2019 on the UNC Gillings School of Public Health News page. 

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Surprise Finding About HIV Reservoir Could Lead to Better Therapies

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.” Read more about this at the UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom.

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NC, SC Join Forces to Combat HIV Epidemic

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

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Myron Cohen in The Guardian’s “End to Aids in sight as huge study finds drugs stop HIV transmission”

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.”

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