Positive Correlation Between Antiretroviral Therapy and Nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa

HIV infection and food insecurity have created a vicious cycle in sub-Saharan Africa. Those who go hungry tend to engage in more risky sexual behaviors, and those infected with HIV/AIDS are more likely to go hungry because their illness prevents them from finding work. A team of researchers at UCSF and Massachusetts General Hospital conducted […]


New Technology Can Track Dormant HIV Inside Cells

Understanding HIV latency and how to stop it is the key to finding a cure.  People infected with HIV must follow a strict regimen of drug treatment to prevent the disease from progressing into AIDS. Treatment, however, does not cure HIV; it merely subdues the virus. If the patient stops treatment, the virus “wakes up” […]


HIV Drug Truvada’s Effectiveness Reaffirmed

Could we see the end of HIV/AIDS epidemic in our lifetime?  Researchers are getting closer to a possible cure.  Truvada, a drug that has long been used as treatment for HIV-positive patients, is also the first and only FDA-approved medication to prevent HIV.  Researcher Robert Grant of the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes conducted a study that […]


AIDS Activism in the Media

Activism has long been a factor in advancing treatment and finding a cure for AIDS.  Organizations like ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group) advocated for those infected from the beginning of the epidemic. Because of these groups, patients have benefited from research funding that has led to cutting-edge treatments and transformed […]


The Beginning of the End of AIDS?

Diane Havlir is a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the chief of the UCSF Division of HIV/AIDS and Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. She served as co-chair of AIDS 2012, the XIX international AIDS Conference.


Career AIDS Scientist Launches New Push Against CMV and Kaposi’s

The scourges of immune-compromised HIV patients have always included opportunistic, chronic infection with other viruses — among them the herpes viruses that cause Kaposi’s sarcoma and chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Before antiretroviral therapy became effective and widely available in the United States, Kaposi’s sarcoma — a form of cancer — was common and sometimes a […]

SEARCH Comm Health Campaign 2011 (8)

When AIDS Came to Uganda

More from Moses Kamya, MB, ChB, MMed, MPH, PhD, a professor and chair of the department of medicine at Makerere University in Kampala Uganda, who talks about AIDS and its effect in Uganda. Here he talks about the first case of AIDS he saw in Uganda, a friend and medical student in his class came […]


PEPFAR from a U.S. Perspective

In the last video we looked at the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from the perspective of a doctor in a recipient country. Here we talk to Ambassador Mark Dybul, who co-directs the Global Health Law Program at Georgetown University Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, where he is also a […]


Whoopi Goldberg Urges Better TB Prevention for Children with HIV

Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg was a featured speaker during the Friday symposia session “Looking to the Future in HIV and TB,” urging better TB prevention for children.

Goldberg, a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador, is a longtime advocate of people living with HIV. Friday’s address focused on HIV’s effect on children, who become especially vulnerable to contracting severe, often fatal, forms of TB.


Anthony Harries: Looking to the Future in HIV/TB Co-Infection

At Friday morning’s plenary session, Dr. Anthony Harries delivered an outstanding overview of tuberculosis (TB)/HIV co-infection, summarizing recent updates and unresolved issues in TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

TB is the leading cause of death in HIV-infected persons worldwide, and the incidence of TB remains unacceptably high in settings with generalized HIV epidemics.


Support for PEPFAR — Republican or Democrat? (video)

This is a snippet from an interview with Steve Morin in which he discusses what is behind the bipartisan support  of PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. “PEPFAR enjoys strong bipartisan support for a number of reasons,” Morin said. “It responds to a humanitarian need, it is vital to some of our […]

Monica Gandhi

Should U.S. women use PrEP? Will they?

Although there have been exciting advances in the field of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) over the past several years, the implications of PrEP for women have been more murky.  Some major PrEP trials have shown efficacy of this strategy in heterosexual African women, but there have been no clinical trials investigating the utility of PrEP […]


Waiting in Line at the DMV? Get an HIV Test

Ever felt like you were wasting time at the Department of Motor Vehicles? Now you can accomplish key health screening by getting a rapid HIV test while you wait. In an innovative partnership between community-based organization Family and Medical Counseling Service and the Penn Branch DMV in in southeast Washington, D.C., individuals can get tested for HIV without losing their place in line – and get $7 off their DMV service. Counselors emphasize the importance of getting an HIV test before offering the test and clients are taken into a private room for an oral swab that gives results in 20 minutes.

SEARCH study in Uganda

Early HIV Treatment and Socioeconomic Outcomes in Africa

A first-of-its-kind clinical study in Uganda that compared socioeconomic outcomes with CD4+ counts—a standard measure of health status for people with HIV—showed that adults with HIV in rural sub-Saharan Africa who receive antiretroviral drugs early in their infection, they may reap benefits in their ability to work and their children’s ability to stay in school. The […]


Activism and Pediatric AIDS

You cannot go to an IAS meeting this year without running into activists. They held a huge march on Tuesday and their shouts of protest can be occasionally heard in the convention halls. In earlier posts here and here and here, I explored the role activism played in the early days of the epidemic and continues […]


Men Who Have Sex With Men Most Affected by HIV

Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the population most heavily affected by HIV in the United States.

[The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] estimates that MSM represent approximately 2% of the US population but accounted for 61% of all new HIV infections in 2009.

Even though the overall number of new HIV infections was stable from 2006-2009, there was an estimated 34% increase among young MSM and 48% increase among black MSM over that time.


AIDS 2012 Declaration Draws Support to End Global AIDS Epidemic

Nearly 4,000 people around the world have shown their support for ending the global AIDS epidemic by signing an online declaration during the XIX International AIDS Conference.

The “Washington, D.C. Declaration” outlines a nine-point action plan that includes focusing on HIV prevention, ending discrimination against HIV patients, boosting research investment and making treatment available to all those who need it.


Nothing About Us Without Us

Debbie McMillan went to the street at age 14, began sex work soon thereafter and ultimately used drugs to avoid the reality of what it took to survive on the street.

She was incarcerated for soliciting as a sex worker and, as a transgender woman housed in a men’s prison, this is where she became HIV-infected.

Michel Sidibé at a press conference on Sunday, July 22, 2012

UNAIDS Director Calls For Ending Stigma and Discrimination

Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, one of the featured speakers at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. this week has called for ending discrimination and stigma in order to confront HIV/AIDS worldwide. When Sidibé came to the San Francisco Bay Area on a “listening tour” a few weeks ago to […]

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HIV Infection and Treatment May Hasten Diseases of Aging

Infection with the AIDS virus, HIV, appears to accelerate aging in many people, in many ways. UCSF researchers are exploring various facets of AIDS and aging. HIV infection no longer is a death sentence, unlike the last time the International AIDS Conference was held in the U.S. in 1990. As a result many baby boomers […]

Barbara Lee at AIDS 2012

U.S. Congress and the Global AIDS Epidemic

Bipartisan political support is central to the U.S. government’s domestic and international response to HIV/AIDS, and a special session devoted to this response was held at AIDS 2012 on Wednesday. Vivek Jain, an assistant professor of medicine in the UCSF Division of HIV/AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH), offered the following report on the session: Former […]


Role of Gender-Based Violence in Fueling HIV Epidemic

Following the Wednesday morning plenary session where there was a strong call to increase HIV research and funding for women, this session highlighted the strong role of gender inequality and gender based violence in fueling the HIV epidemic and worsening the health of affected women.


New Drugs and Novel Treatments for HIV Co-infected Patients Urgently Needed

Over the last few years, cases of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, often acquired through sexual transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM), have been increasingly recognized.

Dr. Daniel Fierer reviewed data suggesting more rapid progression of liver fibrosis/scarring after acute HCV infection in HIV-infected individuals, including four cases of rapid progression to liver decompensation within 2-7 years after new HCV infection. He suggested that acquiring HCV on top of pre-existing HIV, particularly at lower CD4 counts, may be partially responsible for this rapid progression.


Dental Care Offers Opportunities to Serve At-Risk Individuals

Would your dentist be willing to offer you an HIV test? Though not in sync with the title of the [AIDS 2012] session, this intriguing question was explored by Lisa Metsch and colleagues in a mailed survey of 2,567 members randomly selected to be a representative sample of members of the National Dental Association.


Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta: Turning the Tide for Women and Girls

Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF, spoke this morning about the roadmap to turning the tide for women and girls. Women and adolescent girls bear the burden of the HIV epidemic globally.

Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to HIV because of limited access to education, limited control of productive resources including income, land and employment, and limited social capital.

JSG and the Governor 1985

Why the American Dental Association Is Honoring a UCSF AIDS Researcher

The American Dental Association’s mission is to advance “the oral health of the public.” So why is a UCSF AIDS researcher getting the organization’s highest award? Although John Greenspan, BDS, PhD, is an oral pathologist and the associate dean for Global Health with the UCSF School of Dentistry, he was instrumental during the early 1980s […]


Making Women Count: A Comprehensive Agenda

The waves of optimism which have swept through this conference were, for the first time in many years, stirring the field of women and children in the Wednesday morning plenaries.

Following a riveting and comprehensive discussion by Dr. Chewe Luo from Zambia on the current state of maternal-to-child-transmission and treatment of children worldwide, Linda Scruggs, an HIV-positive woman working in the field for [more than] 20 years, mounted the platform to spontaneous applause.


Hillary Clinton and Sheila Tlou ‘Preach to the Choir’ at AIDS 2012 Conference

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a rousing speech to the conference on July 23. She began by reflecting on the last US-based [International AIDS Society] conference in 1990 and proudly welcomed the delegates back to the United States.

Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, one of the featured speakers at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. this week, is calling for an end to HIV transmission from mother-to-child, which continues to occur hundreds of thousands of times a year.

UNAIDS Director Calls for Zero Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, one of the featured speakers at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. this week, is calling for an end to HIV transmission from mother-to-child, which continues to occur hundreds of thousands of times a year. He appeared on the main stage with Florence Uche […]


AIDS 2012 Draws Thousands to Nation’s Capitol

Bill and Hillary Clinton, Sharon Stone, Kathleen Sebelius, Bill Gates and Elton John are a few of the headliners to speak this week at AIDS 2012, the XIX International AIDS Conference, which runs through July 27 in Washington, D.C.

adults and children receiving testing and treatment from a campaign health worker

Community-Based Health Campaign in Uganda (Video)

A clinical study in a remote region of southwest Uganda has demonstrated the feasibility of using a health campaign to rapidly test a community for HIV and simultaneously offer prevention and diagnosis for a variety of other diseases in rural and resource-poor settings of sub-Saharan Africa. At the XIX International AIDS Conference  in Washington, D.C., the […]


AIDS 2012: Waiting for W

Hillary Clinton was electrifying this morning at the opening plenary committing the U.S. to an “AIDS free generation,” but I found myself wishing George W. Bush were here too.


2012 IAC Opening Session Ushers in New Era to “Turn the Tide”

Twenty-two years ago, the last time the International AIDS Conference (IAC) opening session occurred in the United States, the landscape for HIV prevention and treatment was barren. At the 2012 conference Opening Session, a new era was welcomed in, where it is possible to “Turn the Tide” of the epidemic using a combination of interventions that we currently have in hand.

He sits in a conference room and makes gestures with his hands

First Pediatric Cases of HIV: Recalling 1981

As I write this, I am flying en route to Washington, D.C. for the XIX International AIDS Conference . Gazing out over the hazy quiltwork of heartland, I am reminded of the old expression of taking the 30,000-foot view on a problem and how that brings the big picture into focus. It strikes me that there was […]

Ed Machtinger in clinic

HIV Care: The San Francisco Model

When the AIDS epidemic first swept through San Francisco in the early 1980s, UCSF doctors quickly realized two key points.  First, the primary patient population getting the disease – gay men – was already the target of significant discrimination, including in the health field. So those patients needed doctors who weren’t just willing to treat […]


Is there a need for HIV/AIDS activism today?

Spoiler alert: the answer is an emphatic “yes.” Continuing to explore the connection I mentioned in yesterday’s posts between activism and clinical care, I have offer this third and final interview with Eric Sawyer, who works for UNAIDS and has been an HIV activist since the early days of the epidemic. Earlier I posted his comments on the legacy of […]

Bldg. 80, Intersection Potrero at 21st

HIV Treatment and Care Today

Today in the UCSF@AIDS 2012 blog we turn our attention to two subjects that may at first glance seem unrelated: clinical care and activism. In fact they are intimately linked, as some of today’s posts will reveal. To begin with, however, I thought it would make sense to give a comprehensive picture of what HIV […]


HIV Prevention: How it Has Changed

One area in which there has a lot of enthusiasm in recent years is in HIV prevention. A number of significant advances have come to fruition over the last decade in prevention: microbicides, male circumcision, treatment as prevention universal testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis are a few that come to my mind. As we head into the XIX […]

AIDS 2012 Press Conference

UCSF Professor Paul Volberding Discusses Ending the AIDS Epidemic

This is a snippet from an interview with Paul Volberding in which he discusses the future of the AIDS epidemic and the possibility of ending it outright: how we can do it, who will pay for it, and more. Paul Volberding, MD, is the director of the AIDS Research Institute at the University of California, San […]

AIDS 2012 Press Conference

Diane Havlir Discusses the D.C. Declaration—Part I: Why Now?

In this video, Diane Havlir, MD, the chief of the UCSF Division of AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH) discusses the Washington D.C. Declaration, which is the official declaration of the XIX International AIDS Conference. The Declaration was announced earlier this week by the IAS. In anticipation of that, I shot […]


UCSF Launches AIDS 2012 Blog

On the eve of AIDS 2012, the XIX International AIDS Conference  in Washington, DC, UCSF is launching its first-ever blog, UCSF AIDS 2012, to cover the news as it unfolds and to offer daily expert analysis and insight along the way. In addition to several professional staff writers, the blog will feature more than two […]


UCSF’s Jay Levy Reflects on AIDS Epidemic

In 1983, UCSF’s Jay Levy, MD, co-discovered HIV. Today, 29 years later, on the eve of the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., he reflects on the state of the research field. The physician-scientist, who’s now exploring stem cell approaches to fighting the disease, said, “When they asked me 20 years ago where are […]

AIDS 2012 Press Conference

UCSF Faculty Play Key Role in Declaration to End AIDS

A declaration calling for global support to end the AIDS epidemic was announced yesterday by the International AIDS Society, with support from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The goal? For scientists, politicians, celebrities and all other concerned citizens of the world to sign on to the document to express their support – they […]


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