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NIH and D.C. Department of Health team up to combat District's HIV/AIDS epidemic
Date:1/12/2010

es in Northeast Washington; and Whitman-Walker Clinic in Northwest Washington.

Led by program director Henry Masur, M.D., chief of the Critical Care Medicine Department in the NIH Clinical Center, and D.C. Partnership Medical Director Dawn Fishbein, M.D., the three clinics will initially focus on treating HIV-infected patients who have hepatitis B or C. Subsequently, HIV-related metabolic disorders, mental health issues and cardiovascular disease will be targeted at future clinical sites.

"The goals of the clinics are to enhance subspecialty medical care for underinsured HIV-infected patients, assess the need for specific clinical trials on given issues, and if clinical trials are deemed necessary, provide those patients with access to the latest treatments available," Dr. Masur explains. "This program also will focus on mentoring promising young leaders in HIV medicine who could enhance the district's reputation as a leader in developing new strategies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS."

Piloting Test-and-Treat

The partnership also will provide a real-world examination of the test-and-treat hypothesisthe model published by World Health Organization scientists in early 2009 that proposed that the HIV epidemic can be significantly curtailed through annual, voluntary HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral treatment for individuals who test positive for HIV infection.

"NIAID already is conducting several studies designed to answer the key research questions that underpin the test-and-treat concept," says Carl Dieffenbach, Ph.D., director of NIAID's Division of AIDS. "Through this partnership, NIAID is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to design a study to answer whether implementing a combined strategy of expanding HIV testing, diagnosing infection early and bringing HIV-infected patients to medical care and treatment is feasible."

Specifically, the test-and
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Contact: Kathy Stover
stoverk@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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