The University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for AIDS Research has received a five-year, $7.5 million grant renewal from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to further engage in cutting-edge research in basic science, therapeutics, prevention, community engaged research, and clinical manifestations and pathogenesis of HIV and related disorders.
Now in its 31st year of research, UAB’s CFAR will use the grant to focus more intensely on the local HIV epidemic in Alabama and the Southeast through research of the social, behavioral and clinical dynamics that contribute to HIV exposure and transmission in the region.
“We’re positioned right in the epicenter of the HIV epidemic in the South, which means we are able to tackle some of the field’s most pressing emerging challenges and expand our role as leaders in the fight against HIV regionally, nationally and internationally,” said Michael Saag, M.D., director of UAB’s CFAR and professor in the School of Medicine. “With this renewal, we will be able to more closely focus on working with community partners to deliver services to the community with the goal of improving outcomes in our patients.”
In order to reach and partner with community stakeholders and partners, CFAR has established the “Ending HIV in Alabama” scientific working group, a statewide, interdisciplinary group of researchers and physicians led by Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., and Aadia Rana, M.D., both of UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases. The scientific working group will partner with local and state health departments, AIDS organizations, and other related stateholders to further the 90-90-90 treatment goals across the state of Alabama, which includes achieving the following by 2020:
- 90 percent of people living with HIV will know their HIV status
- 90 percent of those who know their status will be engaged in care and on antiretroviral therapy (ART)
- 90 percent of those on ART will achieve full viral suppression
“This grant renewal will help UAB CFAR reach tremendous, lifesaving goals and will help us keep moving forward in fighting and eradicating HIV,” Marrazzo said. “With a specific focus on engaging community partners, those living with HIV and those at-risk of HIV here in Alabama, we anticipate getting closer to our 90-90-90 goals and making a significant impact over the next five years.”
UAB CFAR is one of 19 Centers for AIDS Research established by the National Institutes of Health. A world leader in HIV/AIDS research and patient care, UAB’s CFAR has been among the first to make the newest, most effective treatments available to patients, including the combination therapy that today is the standard of care.