You may not have noticed, but a great change in world of HIV clinical research has occurred. This paradigm shift can be seen in what research studies we will conduct in Seattle.
We are shifting our focus from optimizing antiretroviral therapy to investigating potential avenues to eradicate HIV from the body, –which we refer to as a ‘sterilizing’ cure. We also are looking into ways to potentially train the immune system of those with HIV to suppress the virus without relying on daily ARV therapy–which we refer to as a remission or “functional” cure.
We will continue to explore the management of complications that may come when a person with HIV survives for decades–especially the role inflammation and immune activation may play in heart disease and neurologic diseases.
As well, we will continue our research into treatments for HIV-positive people co-infected with hepatitis C virus, and also for people who have hepatitis C alone.
We also will lend our expertise with antiretroviral drugs to investigate new medicines to be used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP a new HIV prevention method in which people who do not have HIV take a daily pill to reduce their risk of becoming infected. When used consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection among adult men and women at very high risk for HIV infection through sex or injecting drug use.
It will take more research into the prevention, treatment and cure to end the HIV epidemic, and the UW ACTU is proud to add our years of clinical experience to this effort.
If you would like to learn more about our new mission, please contact us.