February 16, 2011


Toward Defining the Non-HIV Infectious Diseases Leadership Group

By Hugh Auchincloss, M.D., NIAID Deputy Director, and Carole Heilman, Ph.D., Director of NIAID’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases


Over the course of the past two decades the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has developed an extensive set of networks to conduct clinical trials related to HIV/AIDS. These networks have helped to develop effective treatments for AIDS, identify strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and expand the proven methods for preventing acquisition of the virus.

During the past 18 months the leadership at NIAID has been actively discussing whether it might be possible to leverage this extensive infrastructure, which has been developed with AIDS-appropriated dollars, for the purpose of expanding our clinical trials capacity for infectious diseases other than HIV. Following a series of consultations with members of the infectious diseases community, NIAID announced that when we re-compete the HIV/AIDS networks in 2013 we will also issue an RFA for a non-HIV infectious diseases “leadership group” that will be responsible for developing a clinical trials research agenda (to be paid for with non-AIDS dollars) that will be implemented in part by using the existing clinical trial infrastructure originally built for HIV/AIDS and related research. In addition, it is anticipated that non-HIV infectious diseases clinical research that might emanate from the Leadership Group would also utilize other clinical trial infrastructure available to them. NIAID has scheduled a town hall meeting Exit Disclaimer on March 7, 2011, with the original intent of soliciting input from the infectious diseases community about the most important issues that should be incorporated in this research agenda.

Over the past two months NIAID has received a great deal of feedback regarding our proposed plans. First, we have heard that many are not clear on the definition of a non-HIV infectious diseases “leadership group” since this is not something that NIAID has used before within the non-HIV community. Second, some have expressed concern that it seems inconceivable that the entire non-HIV infectious diseases research agenda could be incorporated in a single leadership group while the NIAID Division of AIDS has announced that it will have five separate leadership groups for HIV/AIDS alone. Overwhelmingly, we have heard the sentiment that it is impossible for the infectious diseases community to define a research agenda that encompasses more than 290 pathogens in multiple diverse patient populations. As we have listened to this feedback, it has become apparent that we should more explicitly define the purpose of the March 7 town hall meeting in order to address these concerns.

Continue reading "Toward Defining the Non-HIV Infectious Diseases Leadership Group" »

January 14, 2011


Stigma - 30 Years Into the Epidemic

By Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID

Our colleague Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will appear tonight on "Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS," Exit Disclaimer an hour-long special on Anderson Cooper 360° at 9pm ET on CNN.

The program will focus on the role stigma continues to play in the spread of HIV, and prevention and treatment issues.

Stigma is a critical issue addressed by The National HIV/AIDS Strategy as stated in the Strategy's vision statement -- "The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination."  

 Read the Strategy here (PDF).

January 04, 2011


Which of our Blog Posts and Videos Do YOU View? Looking Back at 2010

By Jennie Anderson, Communications Director

2010 blog

As the blog's fourth year begins, we at are taking time to reflect on 2010 and look to the year ahead. As we continue to integrate monitoring and evaluation into our work, we thought that the New Year provided a nice benchmark to look more closely at our blog. For us, the blog is a space to bring together information from across the project, whether it's examples of using social media tools in response to HIV, research updates, or policy updates on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and other topics.

2010 has been quite a year -- some of the many highlights include the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, the release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP research strides, and the return of our Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day 2010 photo initiative. Through these, and other activities, our blog readership, video viewership, and content grew tremendously this year. For example, the total number of visits to our blog in 2010 increased by nearly 300% from visits in 2009! With all this growth, we wanted to know, what are our most-viewed posts? We've compiled the most-viewed blog posts from 2010 from each of our categories (research, new media, National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and cross-posts from the White House Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy Blog and the CDC Health Protection Perspectives Blog). So here are the top 5:

Continue reading "Which of our Blog Posts and Videos Do YOU View? Looking Back at 2010" »

November 23, 2010


NIH-Funded Study Finds Daily Dose of Antiretroviral Drug Reduces Risk of HIV

By Jeffrey S. Crowley, Director, Office of National AIDS Policy (Cross-posted from the Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

Today, the New England Journal of Medicine published research findings from the iPrEx study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation testing the efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The study is a major step forward in our ability to prevent new HIV infections. The study found that a daily dose of an oral antiretroviral drug taken by HIV-negative gay and bisexual men and transgender women reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 43.8 percent. The data showed even higher levels of protection from infection, up to 73 percent, among those participants who adhered most closely to the daily drug regimen.

Continue reading "NIH-Funded Study Finds Daily Dose of Antiretroviral Drug Reduces Risk of HIV" »


President Obama Welcomes New HIV Prevention Research Results

Cross-posted from The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Institutes of Health announced findings on recent HIV prevention research.  The study finds that a daily dose of an oral antiretroviral drug taken by HIV-negative gay and bisexual men reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 43.8 percent, and had even higher rates of effectiveness, up to 73 percent, among those participants who adhered most closely to the daily drug regimen.

“I am encouraged by this announcement of groundbreaking research on HIV prevention. While more work is needed, these kinds of studies could mark the beginning of a new era in HIV prevention. As this research continues, the importance of using proven HIV prevention methods cannot be overstated,” said President Obama.

One of the President’s top HIV/AIDS policy priorities was the development and implementation of a National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), which was released in July 2010. As underlined in the NHAS, no HIV prevention method is 100 percent effective, and a combination of approaches including, among other steps, consistent condom use, will be necessary to prevent HIV infection.  Nevertheless, the research results announced this past summer of an effective microbicide and today’s results fall directly in line with priority recommendations in the NHAS.  Moreover, today’s study suggests that antiretroviral medication may serve as one more valuable tool as we seek to develop the best combinations of effective approaches to prevent HIV infecti


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