HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). In civilian populations, it is is mainly transmitted during sexual intercourse; by sharing syringes or during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Although extraordinary progress has been made in the fight against new HIV cases and AIDS deaths, currently 38 million people are living with HIV, with 1.7 million people being newly infected and 690,000 people dying from AIDS-related illnesses in 2019. It remains a significant public health threat with the potential to significantly destabilize governments and economies. In military contexts, it is a significant danger to the walking blood bank during combat casualty care, making effective screening and prevention strategies a top priority for deployed medicine. Addressing the threat of HIV to military and global populations is of critical concern to health diplomacy and international security and a challenge that requires sustained commitment to research and developing effective scientific, clinical, political, and social solutions.
The primary departments at AFRIMS involved with this research is Retrovirology
and Veterinary Medicine
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- Preventive Vaccine Trials: RV144 is the only HIV vaccine trial to date worldwide to demonstrate partial efficacy. Follow up trials (RVs305, 306, 328, 546) to improve immunogenicity and vaccine efficacy are ongoing.
- Acute Infection and Cohort Studies: Prospective studies of populations at high risk for HIV infection designed to understand HIV incidence and pathogenesis.
- Therapeutic Vaccine Trials and HIV Remission Studies: To assess novel interventions to eliminate or control HIV without medication in people who began treatment early in infection.
- Nonhuman Primate Studies: To support clinical development of HIV and EID vaccines and treatments.
- Mucosal Immunology: Mucosal surfaces are the main portal of entry for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Studies to better understanding of mucosal pathogenesis and to support the development of new vaccine and cure strategies targeting mucosal surfaces.