Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

 

Overview

Our research in HIV focuses on clinical trials and observational studies in multiple areas for those with HIV and those at risk of acquiring HIV. The research encompasses basic, clinical and public health research and collaborates with investigator groups throughout Australia and globally. Key areas include the study of persistent HIV including clinical trials that target this virus. Other areas of research include the effect of viral and bacterial co-infections on HIV disease progression, the intersection of HIV with other co-morbid conditions such as cardiovascular, renal and bone  disease, and the neurological effects of HIV infection of the brain

HIV Research Areas:

HIV Latency: Understanding where HIV hides

The biggest hurdle in curing HIV infection in an individual is that the virus remains dormant in some populations of cells, hiding from the immune system and the cocktail of antiviral drugs used to treat HIV+ positive patients. This is described as HIV latency and poses a major barrier to HIV eradication in the host.

Clinical trials in this area focus on imaging methods to quantify and locate persistent HIV and trials of interventions to increase HIV immune responses towards latently infected cells. For open trial opportunities please see the contact details below for the Clinical Research Unit

HIV Pre-exposure prophylaxis - HIV preventative treatment options

Despite advances in HIV treatment and risk management, HIV infection rates in Australia continue to rise. For this reason, new HIV prevention strategies are being developed, particularly in Victoria, which has the highest rate of HIV diagnoses in the country.

PrEPX is a research study that is examining how expanding the use of PrEP impacts the rates of new HIV infections in Victoria. PrEPX is a new study sponsored by the Victorian Government, Alfred Health and the Victorian AIDS Council. Its aim is to examine the impact of expanding the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) on the rates of new HIV infections in Victoria.  This study offers PrEP to up to 3,200 people at high risk of HIV infection.

HIV co-morbidities

Complications of HIV infection and the drugs that are used to treat it include cardiovascular disease, hypertension and loss of bone marrow density: The following projects investigate HIV co-morbidities and treatment options to help improve patient health:

HIV and Cardiovascular Diseases
HIV and Bone Disease

HIV Clinical Research

The Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit is involved in testing the efficacy and safety of new or novel drug treatments and observational studies that contribute to evidence synthesis for decision making in healthcare.

The Unit is recruiting for the following clinical research projects :

  • IPHOTO3 - Imaging Persistent HIV with radioisotope and 3BNC117
  • iCHIP - Effect of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors on HIV Persistence study
  • Maribavir for Refractory CMV Disease in stem-cell and solid organ transplant