HIV and STDs

Acute HIV Initiative

UNC faculty pioneered the development and promulgation of a technique to cheaply identify patients recently infected with HIV. This has led to a statewide program in North Carolina and at UNC Hospitals, as well as several other states in the U.S. and around the globe. Investigators study the virology, immune response, treatment and behavior of patients recently infected with HIV and design strategies to interrupt transmission.

AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU)

Continuously funded since 1987, the UNC ACTU is the leading unit in the country in terms of study accrual and enrollment of women and African-Americans. Faculty in the UNC ACTU have published landmark papers on the treatment of HIV and its opportunistic infections. As participants in group committees and study teams, trainees will have comprehensive exposure to all aspects of clinical research, including the drafting of IRB applications, preparation of informed consent documents, subject recruitment strategy, enrollment and follow-up of study participants, adverse event detection, and good clinical practice.

Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)

UNC is one of eighteen NIH Centers for AIDS Research. The CFAR has clinical, behavioral, immunological, pharmacological, statistical, virologic, international, developmental and administrative cores to support HIV research.

Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI)

CHAVI is the largest NIH initiative to create a consortium of investigators in search of a vaccine for HIV and is led by Dr. Bart Haynes at Duke, in partnership with a number of other universities, including UNC, which has projects in North Carolina, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi.

Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE)

CARE is a consortium of leading scientific experts in the field of HIV latency. Led by UNC, it includes nine U.S. academic research institutions and Merck Research Laboratories, working together to find a cure for HIV.  CARE is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored program known as the Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure, named in honor of the late AIDS activist, Martin Delaney.

HIV Prevention Trials Network

UNC has joined with Johns Hopkins University to examine strategies for HIV prevention in Malawi, as part of a larger study involving twenty-four other sites worldwide. The UNC research clinic is in Lilongwe, Malawi, and has more than 300 employees.

HIV Secondary Prevention Working Group

This group emerged from the observation that patients with established HIV infection may contribute greatly to the epidemic, and the sexual and other risky behavior of UNC clinic patients is the subject of intense study. UNC has received support from NIH, CDC, and HRSA to develop innovative strategies for secondary transmission prevention. Investigators in this group study methods to prevent both primary and secondary HIV transmission.

Maternal and Child Transmission of HIV Group

A number of faculty are interested in examining the mechanisms of and methods to interrupt HIV transmission with ongoing research and care programs in Lilongwe and Blantyre, Malawi, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

HIV Neonatal Testing Project

Maternal to child transmission of HIV is an entirely preventable event. HIV testing of pregnant women and treatment for those who are infected has resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of children perinatally infected with HIV. Our goal is to reduce MTC transmission of HIV to zero cases each year and to identify any and all HIV infected infants as soon as possible in order to ensure appropriate management and care. North Carolina HIV/STD Prevention in partnership with the Retrovirology Core Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will offer HIV screening of infants who might be infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV -1).  More information.

NIH STD Clinical Trials Unit

UNC is a participating center for a national NIH STD research effort. This Program is a partnership between investigators at UNC and at University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of Washington-Seattle, and Family Health International (Research Triangle Park, NC). The program allows rapid development of randomized clinical trials involving new STD diagnostics and therapies including vaccines, topical microbicides, and novel antibiotic utilization.

Prison Working Group

The UNC ID Division provides clinical care for HIV-infected inmates in the North Carolina Department of Corrections.  The Prison Working Group was created to develop research hypotheses and apply for grants, with the goal of understanding and ameliorating the impact of incarceration on access to care for STD/AIDS treatment as well as the spread of these diseases in minority communities in North Carolina. The group includes patient-oriented researchers, behavioral scientists, sociologists, virologists, and state public health officials.

Project STYLE (Strength Through Youth Living Empowered)

An HIV prevention, research and linkage-to-care program, Project STYLE helps connect young, HIV positive gay and bisexual men of color to medical treatment and social support services. Research involves documenting the lived experiences of these young men and understanding the social determinants of HIV infection in this community.

STI/Topical Microbicide Cooperative Research Center

UNC is one of six NIH cooperative STI Centers. Research in this center focuses on classical STI pathogens including N. gonorrhoeae, H. ducreyi and T vaginalis. Disease prevention is a theme common to these research efforts, and several projects include behavioral and epidemiological aspects of STIs.