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

The NHLBI HIV/AIDS Program provides global leadership for research, training, and education programs designed to promote research on HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders, as well as blood-based therapies. Critical research in these areas will result in discoveries that enhance the survival and quality of life of people living with HIV and may also lead to knowledge that benefits all people 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 increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people living with HIV and testing novel and existing cardiovascular therapies.
  • 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 and gene therapy for an 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
  • The MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study aims to understand and reduce the impact of health problems that affect people living with HIV.
  • The Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV (REPRIEVE) is informing clinical approaches to prevent CVD in patients with HIV.
  • The HIV/AIDS program is studying how HIV-induced changes in the body’s microbiome affects co-existing heart, lung, or blood disorders.
  • The Sleep Health and Circadian Biology in HIV-Related Comorbidities program studies how sleep problems affect co-existing heart, lung and 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 in the understanding 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—the most advanced stage of the HIV infection—to other chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease (CHD), 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 people 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 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 utilize existing NIH clinical/observational cohorts, biological specimens, databases (such as dbGaP), 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). In addition, the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study Data Analysis and Coordinating Center (DACC) handles requests for data and biospecimens related to the Combined Cohort 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 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


Cardiovascular Team

Sean Altekruse, D.V.M., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Scientific/Research Officer

Jue Chen, Ph.D.
Program Director

Katharine Cooper-Arnold, MPH
Clinical Trials Specialist

Fassil Ketema, M.S.
Clinical Trials Specialist/Program Officer

Renee Wong, Ph.D.
Chief, Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Branch


Lung and Sleep Team

Neil Aggarwal, M.D.
Chief, Lung Biology and Disease Branch

Lis Caler, Ph.D.
Program Director

Barry Schmetter
Clinical Trials Specialist

Michael Twery, Ph.D.
Director, National Center on Sleep Disorders Research


Blood Team

Simone Glynn, M.D., MSc, MPH
Chief, Blood Epidemiology and Clinical Therapeutics Branch

Catherine Levy, RN
Clinical Trials Specialist


Translation Research and Implementation Science Team

Whitney Barfield, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator

Helen Hunter Cox, MHS
Program Management Officer


Statistics Team

Myron Waclawiw, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Office of Biostatistics Research


Division of Extramural Research Activities Team

Debbie Chen
Deputy Director, Grants Management

Erin Davis, MBA
Grants Management Specialist

Lennin Greenwood
Grants Management Specialist

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

Yingying Li-Smerin, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Officer

Megan Mitchell, MPH
Deputy Referral Officer


Financial Management Team

Joseph Bowman
Finance Team Leader