AIDS and HIV Research

What is AIDS/HIV?

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease characterized by a progressive loss of immune system function, manifested by numerous opportunistic infections, including tumors. Untreated, it is universally fatal, but recent advances in treatment have made the disease much more manageable and many patients can lead relatively normal lives. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is a retrovirus that infects immune cells and some neurons. There is no cure for AIDS and there is no drug that can eliminate HIV from the body. There are many anti-retroviral drugs however that can reduce HIV plasma levels to very low levels and restore immune system function.

AIDS is the most severe manifestiation of HIV infection. AIDS occurs due to the progressive destruction of CD4+ T cells. AIDS is defined as the presence of a cluster of symptoms outlined below and often when CD4+ T cells drop to fewer than 200 per microliter of blood.


Symptoms of AIDS involve infections and conditions that are not present in those with healthy immune systems. Many of these conditions are caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Patients with AIDS are susceptible to cancers such as Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphomas and cervical cancers. Systemic symptoms may include fevers, night sweats, chills, weight loss, weakness and swollen lymph glands. Some common opportunistic infections and symptoms include: pneumocystitis pneumonia (PCP), tuberculosis, esophagitis, chronic diarrhea due to bacterial infections. Neuropsychiatric disorders such as toxoplasma encephalitis, cryptococcal meningitis, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and AIDS dementia complex can occur.

Other opportunistic infections that are common in patients with AIDS include infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and human papillomavirus (HPV). EBV and KSHV are common causes of high-grade lymphomas in AIDS patients. Cervical cancer in HIV-infected women is also common. Other more mild infections include mycobacterium avium-intracellulare and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Penicillosis has become a common infection in HIV-positive patients in southeast Asia.


There is no cure for AIDS, nor is there a vaccine for HIV infection. The standard of care is highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). This treatment involves a cocktail of at least 3 antiretroviral agents coming from at least 2 different classes. The most common combination is 2 nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) in addition to a protease inhibitor or a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). In the assessment of treatment, viral load and CD4 levels are common measures of both success and for the decision of when to initiate treatment.

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HAART has resulted in a dramatic decrease in HIV-related mortality (and morbidity). HAART seems to increase survival time by at least 4 years and some studies suggest as much as 12 years. Without HAART, the progression of HIV to AIDS occurs in about 10 years. Many HIV-positive patients develop a drug-resistant strain of HIV. Side effects can include diarrhea, insulin resistance, cholesterol disorders and lipodystrophy.

Featured AIDS And HIV Research Content

  • Graph AIDS and HIV research articles over time - Plot the number of articles that have been published over time in specific areas of AIDS and HIV research research or in all of basic research. You can gauge changes in interest in certain topics and use this to guide your research. It also makes a good introductory slide for a presentation as it demonstrates the importance of your topic.
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Recent AIDS and HIV research literature is highlighted with this tool. We have taken the entire set of AIDS and HIV research articles and arranged them according to their previous or expected citation rate. This allows you to quickly identify the most important articles in the field.

Articles are updated daily and advance publications are shown before they appear in medline and they are updated every hour.

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Recent AIDS and HIV research news and press releases are highlighted. We scour over 20,000 news sources to bring you the latest AIDS and HIV research news. The information is updated every 4 hours, so you can be sure to be getting the latest news on the topic.

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AIDS and HIV research laboratories are featured here. We have actually profiled nearly 99% of all AIDS and HIV research laboratories. We have also ranked all labs based upon the citation rating of the papers of the principal investigator. Laboratories may alter information on each lab page including picture, publications, affiliation, and biography. Below you will find the top 20 AIDS and HIV research laboratories.

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