April 01, 2021 | Nora Samaranayake
Institute of Human Virology
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer
(443) 823-0613 (phone)
(410) 706-1952 (fax)
Thursday, June 22, 2023
Pfizer announced last week that it expects to run out of a key drug for treating syphilis in the near future — a looming problem that health professionals say could exacerbate syphilis rates, widen racial disparities in sexually transmitted diseases, and stymie global access to the antibiotic, especially within lower-income countries. The drug in question is Bicillin, an injectable, long-acting form of penicillin most commonly used to treat syphilis in adults as well as childhood infections.
Thursday, April 27, 2023
In this issue of the journal, we inaugurate a new series entitled “Milestones.” This series will encompass interviews with some of the pioneers that have laid the foundations of HIV research. Revisiting these landmarks while taking into account the prospect of their founders should be an inspiration to our readers, particularly the youngest generation. Nobody better than Dr. Robert Gallo could be the protagonist of the inaugural “Milestone,” with his recount of the discovery of HIV-1, the causative agent of AIDS, and the development of the first blood test to diagnose HIV-1 infection.
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, AIDS, had been recognized as a new disease in 1981, when an increasing number of young homosexuals died of unusual infections and rare cancers. It was also known to affect intravenous drug users and some were known to have contracted it through blood transfusions.
Friday, January 06, 2023
The claim: There is no proof HIV is the cause of AIDS. A Dec. 15 Facebook video shows Kary Mullis, a scientist known for denying the link between HIV and AIDS, claiming again there is no proof HIV is the cause of AIDS. The post was shared more than 1,000 times in a week. The clip comes from a 2009 documentary that promoted AIDS denialism, which has more than 300,000 views on YouTube.
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Lead Stories: Fact Check: Doctor Did NOT Say On Video That He Manufactured AIDS As Bio Weapon -- This Is A Soviet-Era Disinformation Hoax
Did an American doctor admit on video that he created the HIV and AIDS viruses in a U.S. military medical laboratory, Fort Detrick, so that they could be used as biological weapons for depopulating the world? No, that's not true: Dr. Robert Gallo, the doctor featured in the video, makes no such admission in the footage, and told Lead Stories that his scientific work was not part of any plan to weaponize HIV/AIDS. Historical records show that the claim is a well-documented hoax that dates to a Soviet disinformation campaign from the 1980s.
Thursday, December 01, 2022
A basic understanding of HIV and AIDS can help dispel the myths, erase stigma, prevent virus transmission, and save lives — beginning with your own.
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
A cure for HIV remains elusive, but one word that is commonly heard is “remission.” Even though it doesn’t mean eradication of the virus, remission is a good thing. But what exactly is remission? Can HIV go into remission? And how does it differ from a cure? Generally, remission means that a disease has stopped being active but hasn’t necessarily been eliminated.
Monday, September 19, 2022
There are several stages of HIV infection—from the initial exposure to the virus to the development of AIDS—but a lot of important changes happen during the earliest stage: seroconversion. So, exactly what is HIV seroconversion? It is the stage in which the immune system first starts to make antibodies to try to fight HIV after exposure. Once detectable levels of antibodies are produced, this is described as seroconversion.
Monday, September 19, 2022
You had a one-night stand with someone of questionable HIV status. Now the panic begins. Could you have HIV after only one exposure? What are the odds?
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Successful aging is something that most of us strive for. But with aging comes a pervasive condition called fatigue that, in many older adults, interferes with everyday functioning, mental health, social support, and overall quality of life. The relationship between fatigue and cognitive and functional impairment is one of particular interest in people living with HIV (PWH), a patient population that is disproportionately affected but whose lifespan now matches that of the general population.
Friday, May 20, 2022
University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM)’s Institute of Human Virology (IHV) researchers received funding from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for $2.7 million to study genetic changes in two genes from the HIV-1 virus that may make it resistant to antiretroviral therapy. The study, named INSPIRE, will analyze genetic variation in types of HIV circulating in a handful of African countries that will help to better understand the implications of these mutations and will improve clinical management of patients.
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Good solutions have great roadmaps. For HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the road map might just be that of contraceptive care. Once an onerous process, over time contraceptive care exploded into a range of options across a broad landscape in terms of approach and accessibility. How then do organizations help vulnerable patients navigate their PrEP journeys using the contraceptive roadmap as a guide?
Friday, March 18, 2022
Few scientists in the world can come up with as many successes as Robert Gallo: The US researcher was involved in the discovery of the AIDS virus, found leukemia pathogens and other deadly viruses. Now he is 85 - and works even harder than before.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
HIV-1 can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, whether it’s with a same-sex or different-sex partner. But the risk of developing it seems to vary depending on how the disease is transmitted. In fact, the HIV virus may be more virulent when passed between male and female partners who have penile-vaginal sex than among men who have anal sex with other men, according to a new study from the Indian Institute of Science.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
In honoring long-term survivors and National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day on March 10, I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Kathy Bennett. She is a 63-year-old Black woman who has been living with HIV for over 31 years. She recently led the longest running HIV support group in Maryland.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Scientists used a cutting-edge stem cell transplant method to treat a woman's HIV, but a lead researcher in Maryland said it's too soon to celebrate. A U.S. woman is the third known person who is in HIV remission after receiving stem cells from umbilical cord blood, an American research team announced Wednesday.
Monday, February 07, 2022
GW was one of the first institutions in the country to administer doses of the first mRNA HIV vaccines to human test subjects late last month. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences and its Vaccine Research Unit collaborated with Moderna to test the safety of the vaccine and the immune responses of two participants in the phase 1 clinical trial.
Friday, February 04, 2022
The COVID pandemic did not end the HIV-AIDS epidemic; it may have obscured it for a while, raising hurdles to getting tested for HIV.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
In a study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine, researchers looked at 32 patients that had both cancer and HIV and found that pembrolizumab, which revives the immune system and encourages it to attack tumors, also has the ability to flush HIV out of its hiding spot in immune cells.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have used a new method they’re calling a “molecular scissors” to nearly eliminate HIV embedded in the genetic material of human cells.
Tuesday, July 06, 2021
UM School of Medicine Researchers Receive NIH Avant-Garde Award for Out-Of-Box Concept to Cure HIV and Treat Co-Existing Addiction
Linda Chang, MD, MS, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), received the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) 2021 Avant-Garde Award (DP1) for HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Disorder Research, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award. This prestigious award supports researchers with exceptional creativity, who propose high-impact research with the potential to be transformative to the field. She will work with Institute for Human Virology (IHV) researchers for this project.
Monday, June 07, 2021
Embedding an adult HIV medicine clinician and care navigator into a Baltimore pediatric HIV clinic led to 95% of young people remaining engaged in adult care one year after transition, according to a report in AIDS Care.
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Baltimore Sun: Maryland researchers study whether HIV cure can come from infusing patients with genetically modified ‘super T cells’
A week ago, a Washington, D.C., man in his 30s with HIV became the first person to be infused with a heaping load of his own genetically modified cells that a Maryland biotech firm believes one day could lead to the elusive cure for the disease. American Gene Technologies’ method involves taking T cells out of a person’s blood and genetically modifying them in the lab to resist infection before they are reinfused. C. David Pauza is the company’s chief science officer and a former professor and researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Human Virology. Another center evaluating entering the study is Maryland’s Institute for Human Virology, confirmed its co-founder and director, Dr. Robert Gallo, who is internationally regarded for his role in discovering HIV and developing a blood test to detect it.
Monday, August 03, 2020
Social distancing is one of the curses of COVID-19, and may fall more heavily on people with HIV than on those without this burden. “People with HIV, and in particular certain subsets of that group—the LGBTQ community, older adults aging with HIV, etc.—face more mental health issues than the general population,” said Sarah Schmalzle, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore. “Many of our patients also already face significant isolation and loneliness due to a combination of HIV stigma, losses of friends and family to HIV, and aging.”
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
A United Nations program aimed at eliminating HIV/AIDS released a report Monday showing that the global response to the epidemic has fallen far short of goals set for 2020, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Monday, June 24, 2019
UM School of Medicine's Institute of Human Virology Awarded $40 Million Grant to Conduct HIV Population Surveys
Man Charurat, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director, Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity (CIHEB), and Director, Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), has been awarded a five-year grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct HIV population-based HIV impact assessments worldwide to measure the progress towards the control of the HIV epidemic
Wednesday, May 01, 2019
Large National Survey Shows Smaller HIV Epidemic in Nigeria Than Once Thought and Highlights Key Gaps
(CDC) The Government of Nigeria, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine released new data from the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS), one of the largest population-based HIV/AIDS household surveys ever conducted. The NAIIS directly measured HIV prevalence and viral load suppression. According to the NAIIS results, the HIV prevalence in Nigeria is lower than previously thought, allowing the country to focus on providing services to the areas of greatest need to control the HIV epidemic.
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
The University of Maryland School of Medicine’s (UM SOM) Institute for Global Health (IGH) and the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) have been awarded a $2 million five-year grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study the impact exposure to HIV has on the immune systems of infants in utero and how those changes impact the ability of infants to fight off infections after birth.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
As the new Administration is presented with great challenges facing the United States, one will be a longtime foe, the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, I have publicly called on our country’s leaders to utilize the largest global health initiative in history - the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) - as a model to address the U.S. epidemic.