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

The NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program provides global leadership for research, training, and education programs to promote research in the areas of HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, as well as blood-based therapies. The NHLBI believes that critical research in these areas will result in discoveries that enhance the survival and quality of life of patients living with HIV, and may also lead to knowledge that benefits all patients with heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.

The following NHLBI Divisions work together on the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program.

  • The Division of Cardiovascular Sciences (DCVS) focuses on understanding the mechanisms that contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with HIV.
  • The Division of Lung Diseases (DLD) addresses HIV-associated pulmonary infections, non-infectious complications such as COPD, asthma, and pulmonary hypertension, as well as sleep disorders.
  • The Division of Blood Diseases and Resources (DBDR) focuses on HIV-associated blood abnormalities, hematopoietic cell therapy and gene therapy for a HIV cure, and prevention of HIV transmission through blood transfusion.
  • The Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) leverages late-stage T4 translation research and implementation science strategies to address barriers that impede the scale-up and application of scientifically proven interventions in community and clinical settings for the prevention, control, and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders in people living with HIV.
  • The trans-NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program facilitates innovative research on HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders and the evolving challenges for HIV-in
  • This program supports HIV-related research in children and adults because this infection can cause cardiovascular disease (CVD) to develop earlier in life.
  • The Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV (REPRIEVE) is informing clinical approaches to prevent CVD in patients with HIV.
  • The Investigating HIV-Associated Lung Disease (INHALD) network is studying the cellular and molecular events underlying HIV-associated lung diseases.
  • The HIV/AIDS program is studying how HIV-induced changes in the body’s microbiome affects co-existing heart, lung, or blood disorders.
  • The Beyond HAART: Innovative Approaches to Cure HIV-1 program, a collaborative effort with NIAID, supports innovative approaches to eliminate HIV-1.

Why is the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program important?

Tremendous progress in the treatment of HIV has led to increased survival and a dramatic evolution of the disease. Trends over the past decades reveal that overall individuals are living longer with HIV. As a result, the challenges have now shifted from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, to other chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and chronic anemia. Multiple studies have shown that people living with HIV have a significantly higher risk of developing heart, lung, and blood conditions and that these conditions may develop earlier in patients with HIV compared to the general population.

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Because patients with HIV are living longer. new research is needed to better understand the long-term effects of chronic infection, inflammation, and use of antiretroviral medications in these patients. 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 are known to develop earlier in children who have HIV.  Children who have HIV are also at risk of developing cardiomyopathy.

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

The NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program funds a wide range of HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders research, such as these:

The NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program also is funding research to develop cell and gene therapies, including hematopoietic stem cell transplant, as possible cures for HIV. View funding information for the NHLBI AIDS Program.

The NHLBI encourages researchers to utilize existing NIH clinical cohorts, biological specimens, or imaging banks whenever possible for HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders research. Investigators interested in utilizing data and stored samples from NHLBI studies can submit a request through the NHLBI Biologic Specimen and Data Repository Information Coordinating Center (BioLINCC).

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

How is the NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program conducted?

This trans-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 held two working group meetings, one in 2012 and one in 2015, to identify research priorities. 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 Group meetings. The most recent Working Groups include:

  • The December 2015 Working Group meeting where top scientific priorities were discussed for heart, lung, blood, and sleep research related to HIV/AIDS, such as research on epidemiology, disease processes, prevention, control, and treatment of HIV-related comorbidities. View the detailed recommendations from the 2015 meeting.
  • The September 2012 Working Group meeting focused on epidemiology, disease processes, prevention, and treatment of HIV-related heart, lung, and blood disease, 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 requests for applications (RFAs) that highlight the scientific opportunities in the HIV field related to 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

Leia Novak, Ph.D.
NHLBI HIV/AIDS Scientific Program Manager

The Cardiovascular Team

Sean Altekruse, Ph.D.
Cardiovascular Team Leader

Jue Chen, Ph.D.
Cardiovascular Team Leader

Katharine Cooper-Arnold, MPH
Representative to the Office of Clinical Research

Lucy Hsu, MPH
Cardiovascular Team Leader

Fassil Ketema, M.S.
Cardiovascular Team Leader

Renee Wong, Ph.D.
Cardiovascular Team Leader

The Lung and Sleep Team

Neil Aggarwal, M.D.
Lung Team Leader

Lis Caler, Ph.D.
Lung Team Leader

Sandra Colombini-Hatch, M.D.
Lung Team Leader

Barry Schmetter
Lung Team Leader

Michael Twery, Ph.D.
Lung Team Leader

The Blood Team

Simone Glynn, M.D., MSc, MPH
Blood Team Leader

Catherine Levy, RN
Blood Team Leader

The Translation Research and Implementation Science Team

Whitney Barfield, Ph.D.
CTRIS Team Leader

Emmanuel Peprah, Ph.D.
CTRIS Team Leader

The Statistics Team

Myron Waclawiw, Ph.D.
Biostatistics Team Leader

The Grant Management Team

Debbie Chen
Grants Team Leader

Erin Davis, MBA
Grants Team Leader

The Scientific Review Team

Tony L. Creazzo, Ph.D.
Review Team Leader

Yingying Li-Smerin, Ph.D.
Review Team Leader