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Einstein-Montefiore Researchers Secure $16 Million NIH Grant to Study HIV/AIDS in Women

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center have received a $16 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on women. The funds allow Montefiore and Einstein to continue as a scientific and clinical site for the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a multi-center, prospective, observational study of women who are either HIV-positive or at risk for HIV infection. The study is now entering its 21st year. 

The principal objectives of the grant support research into strategies to defeat HIV. Those include identifying naturally occurring immune factors in the female genital tract that protect women against HIV infection, understanding how the virus is transferred from person to person on the cellular level, and identifying factors that predict which women will respond well to treatment. The grant will also allow researchers to investigate whether epigenetic changes that the HIV virus genome (known as the provirus) undergoes might present potential targets for curing the disease.

“Anti-retroviral medications have transformed HIV infection from a deadly disease to a chronic condition for the entire world,” said Kathy Anastos, M.D., the principal investigator on the grant at Einstein and Montefiore. “Information on the long-term effects of infection and treatment and predictors of a favorable response to treatment are critical for effective care.” Read more at Einstein News