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NIH Gives Millions to Texas Center for AIDS Research

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The National Institute of Health is providing $5 million in funding for HIV research at the Texas Development Center for AIDS Research, the center announced recently.

The center is a collaboration of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio.

“If you look at HIV in the U.S., it has shifted over the decades from the Northeast and West Coast to the South and Southeast, and Texas is responsible for a large portion of the HIV epidemic,” Dr. Thomas Giordano, director of the new center and professor at Baylor, said in a press release. “A number of places have made strides in their responses to the HIV epidemic, and there are fewer people becoming newly infected by it in many places in the U.S., but the decline in Texas has been slower. We are fortunate to get this grant to try to accelerate the efforts in Texas.”

The grant will fund a variety of initiatives from the center over five years, including basic science research, translational research, clinical trials, and health services research. The center will work with research experts, community partners, and public health authorities in Texas and across the U.S.

The three focus points for the Texas Development Center for AIDS Research include: Supporting programs that strengthen Texas’ HIV research environment; supporting interdisciplinary pilot research projects, while working with new research projects on ending HIV and helping improve the health of those with HIV; and providing expertise on HIV-related research.

“As new antiretroviral drugs became available, the life expectancy of people with HIV bumped up to that of the general population. However, our current research should address the emergence of comorbidities such as cardiovascular, liver, kidney and bone diseases and cancer, among others, observed in the aging population with HIV,” said Dr. Robert Ardulno of the University of Texas and the center.

Giodano said it’ll take a whole team to make any impact on the HIV epidemic in the state and in the world.

“This will be the groundwork to develop new research and to develop new investigators doing HIV research, and to increase the partnerships across the academic research institutions, the public health entities, and the community,” Giordano said. 

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