With 1.1 million Americans already living with HIV and another 40,000 new cases every year, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have been working to hone treatments and find a cure for the virus for decades.
Through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and collaborations with units across campus, Carolina HIV researchers are getting closer to a solution for the virus. They’re attacking HIV from every direction to improve the lives of patients, prevent more people from acquiring it and find a way to eradicate it entirely.
UNC’s made some pretty substantial contributions. I think it’s fair to say we’re one of the largest and most effective cure groups in the country right now, if not the world.
Myron Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Health and Infection Diseases
Carolina's HIV research
Through the years
- 1981 Infectious diseases clinician Dr. Myron Cohen treated Carolina’s first patient living with AIDS. Within months, the hospital’s 30-bed AIDS ward filled to capacity.
- 1995 Infectious diseases clinician Dr. Joe Eron discovers that combinations of antiretroviral therapy suppress HIV better than single-drug therapy.
- 2008 The UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases establishes research sites in Malawi and China to investigate the prevention and treatment of HIV.
- 2011 A study by Dr. Myron Cohen proves that treating people living with HIV prevents transmission to non-infected sexual partners.
- 2013 Vivian Go comes to Carolina, bringing with her a research site in Vietnam that studies HIV among injection drug users.
- 2015 Carolina and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline announce a novel, public-private partnership called Qura Therapeutics with the goal of finding a cure for HIV.
- August 2016 The Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication led by Dr. David Margolis receives $23 million from the NIH to identify a cure for HIV.
- September 2016 Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman receives NIH funding to develop mobile apps for youth at risk for or living with HIV.
- 2017 Researchers launch three HIV prevention studies simultaneously to test a once daily pill, a long-acting injection and an infusion of antibodies to prevent HIV.
In the past several decades, HIV has gone from being a death sentence to a virus manageable with medication. With the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill becoming a hub for HIV research, Carolina’s labs have helped push that progress along.
Finding a cure for HIV is a daunting task. To solve the puzzle, UNC HIV Cure Center researchers rely on the dedication of their clinical trial participants.
A unique public-private collaboration created the HIV Cure Center and a new company that brings together academic and pharmaceutical research scientists.