What is the goal of the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program?

The NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program leads global research, training, and education programs on HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders, as well as blood-based therapies. Critical research discoveries in these areas will improve the survival and quality of life of people with HIV and may also lead to knowledge that benefits all people with heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.

These NHLBI Divisions work together on the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program.


  • The cross-NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program facilitates innovative research on HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders and the evolving challenges for people
  • The MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study (MWCCS) aims to understand and lower the impact of health problems that affect people with HIV.
  • The Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV (REPRIEVE) informs clinical approaches to prevent cardiovascular disease in people with HIV.

Why is the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program important?

Huge progress in the treatment of HIV has led to higher survival rates and a dramatic evolution in understanding the disease. Trends over the past decades reveal that, overall, people are living longer with HIV. As a result, the challenges have now shifted from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS — the most advanced stage of the HIV infection — to other long-term diseases, such as coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and chronic anemia. Many studies have shown that people with HIV have a much higher risk of developing heart, lung, and blood conditions and that these conditions may develop earlier in people with HIV compared to the general population.

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Because people with HIV are living longer, new research is needed to better understand the long-term effects of long-term infection, inflammation, and use of antiretroviral medications. The NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program also supports research on the effects of HIV in children and young adults. It is important to include children in research because cardiovascular risk factors develop earlier in children with HIV, and children with HIV are also at risk of developing cardiomyopathy.

How does the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program contribute to scientific discoveries?

The NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program has funded a wide range of HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders research, including the following: 

View funding information for the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program. 

The NHLBI encourages researchers to use existing NIH clinical/observational cohorts, biological specimens, databases (such as dbGaP), or imaging banks whenever possible for HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorder research. Investigators interested in using data and stored samples from NHLBI studies can submit a request through the NHLBI Biologic Specimen and Data Repository Information Coordinating Center (BioLINCC). In addition, the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study Data Analysis and Coordinating Center handles requests for data and biospecimens related to the study.

The following are HIV/AIDS research resources that the NIH Office of AIDS Research provides. 

How is the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program conducted?

This cross-NHLBI program funds innovative research that responds to the evolving challenges of HIV. The NHLBI HIV/AIDS Team coordinates all HIV-related research in heart, lung, blood, and sleep, including translation research and implementation science. The NHLBI began holding working group meetings to identify research priorities in 2012. The Institute has since developed various initiatives to support research targeting HIV-related priorities. 

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The NHLBI identifies key HIV-related research priorities in the areas of heart, lung, blood, and sleep science in part by convening HIV/AIDS Working Groups. Prior Working Groups include:

  • The September 2019 Workshop on HIV-associated Comorbidities, Coinfections and Complications, led by the NHLBI and the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) with support from 19 other NIH institutes, centers, and offices (ICOs). The workshop included five working groups focused on epidemiology and population science, disease origin and development, and basic science, clinical research, implementation science, and syndemics (disease interactions and social, cultural, environmental, political, and economical factors that influence or worsen diseases or conditions). The workshop also included a panel targeting international research. View the workshop summary.
  • The December 2015 Working Group where members discussed top scientific priorities for HIV/AIDS-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep research, including studies on epidemiology, disease processes, prevention, control, and treatment of HIV-related diseases and conditions. View the detailed recommendations from the 2015 meeting.
  • The September 2012 Working Group, which focused on epidemiology, disease processes, prevention, and treatment of HIV-related heart, lung, and blood diseases, and the potential use of cell-based therapies to eliminate HIV. View the detailed recommendations from the 2012 meeting.

Based on the recommendations of the HIV/AIDS Working Groups, the NHLBI has developed dedicated “HIV-related funding opportunity announcements (FOAs)” that highlight scientific opportunities in HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep science. View funding information for NHLBI HIV/AIDS program research.

Who are the current NHLBI HIV/AIDS team members?

Contact information for NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program team members is available in the areas of heart, lung, blood, and sleep research; biostatistics; clinical research; translation research; implementation science; and grant management.

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Shimian Zou, Ph.D.
NHLBI HIV/AIDS Coordinator

DaRel Barksdale, MPH
NHLBI HIV/AIDS Scientific Program Manager

Cardiovascular Team

Gabriel Anaya, M.D.
Medical Officer/Program Director, Epidemiology Branch

MWCCS liaison


Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D.
Medical Officer/Program Director, Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Branch

REPRIEVE liaison


Ahmed A.K. Hasan, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical Officer/Program Director, Atherothrombosis & Coronary Artery Disease Branch


Fassil Ketema, M.S.
Program Officer / Clinical Trials Specialist, Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Branch


Lung and Sleep Team

Alfonso Alfini, Ph.D.
Program Director, Sleep Disorders Medicine


Emmanuel Mongodin, Ph.D.
Program Director, Lung Response to Pulmonary Infections, Microbiome and HIV/AIDS


Barry Schmetter
Clinical Trials Specialist, Division of Lung Diseases


Roy Sutliff, Ph.D.
Program Director, Vascular Biology & Pulmonary Hypertension


Blood Team

Nahed El Kassar, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical/Program Officer, Blood Epidemiology and Clinical Therapeutics Branch


Benyam Hailu, M.D., MPH
Medical/Program Officer, Blood Epidemiology and Clinical Therapeutics Branch

Translation Research and Implementation Science Team

Maliha Ilias, Ph.D.
Program Director, Health Inequities & Global Health Branch


Mary Masterson, Ph.D.
Program Director, Implementation Science Branch


Keith Mintzer, Ph.D.
Program Director, Implementation Science Branch


Division of Extramural Research Activities Team

Tony L. Creazzo, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Officer


John Diggs
Supervisory Team Leader, Office of Grants Management


Fatima Kamara
Grants Management Specialist


Manoj Valiyaveettil, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Officer


Lynn Rundhaugen
Grants Management Specialist


Financial Management Team

Lina Allen
NHLBI Budget Officer


Larry Martin
Budget Analyst


William Stryker
Senior Budget Analyst