Basic Information

On June 5, 1981, a report of five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) among previously healthy young men in Los Angeles was published in the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC’s) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This report prompted a response from the CDC and researchers that lead to definition 18 months later for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the subsequent discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Federal agencies have been heavily involved in efforts to research AIDS and HIV from the early mobilization through continuing efforts today. Investigators are conducting research on all areas of HIV infection, including developing and testing preventive HIV vaccines, prevention strategies, and new therapeutic treatments for HIV infection and AIDS-associated opportunistic infections. Researchers also are investigating exactly how HIV damages the immune system. This research is identifying new and more effective targets for drugs and vaccines.

Despite the success of research into HIV treatment drugs in the United States that are now helping people with HIV/AIDS live healthier and longer lives, the best long-term hope for controlling the AIDS epidemic worldwide is the development of safe, effective and affordable preventive HIV vaccines. Currently, however, there is no vaccine for HIV. For more information about HIV vaccine research view HIV Vaccines Explained (PDF – 105 KB) (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH).

General Resources

AIDSinfo (Health and Human Services)
AIDSinfo is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) project that offers the latest federally approved information on HIV/AIDS clinical research, treatment and prevention, and medical practice guidelines for people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and friends, health care providers, scientists, and researchers. It provides information of Federally-funded clinical trails and is the main dissemination point for medical guidelines.

HIV/AIDS Research (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH)
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH (NIAID) supports an HIV research program that provides valuable scientific information about the basic biology of HIV, the immune response to HIV infection, and potential targets for prevention and therapeutic strategies including vaccines. The site provides information of NIAID research activities and resources for researchers.

Preventive Vaccines (AIDSinfo)
This resource compiled by AIDSinfo provides a listing of resources about preventive HIV vaccine research. The listed resources include questions and answers about vaccines and vaccine research and information about vaccine trials.

Last revised: 04/14/2008