HIV/AIDS Research Group-General University Hospital of Elche
The HIV / AIDS research group of the General University Hospital of Elche has a long experience in clinical and epidemiological research on different aspects of HIV infection. It is part of the AIDS Research Network since its establishment and participates in different competitive studies at national and international level. The group has led several research projects on complications of HIV infection and antiretroviral treatment that have allowed the publication of more than 100 scientific articles in top journals in the last 10 years. We have a particular interest in the study of the key factors that determine the progression of atherosclerosis in patients receiving antiretroviral treatment and the possible therapeutic interventions to slow progression. We have a fully equipped Vascular Laboratory, and we have a long experience in the evaluation of subclinical arteriosclerosis by carotid ultrasound and in the measurement of endothelial function by endothelium-dependent vasodilation. The Unit and the Hospital Research Laboratory are well equipped for processing biological samples and carrying out biochemical techniques, flow cytometry and molecular biology.
Lines of research:
- Progression of arteriosclerosis in patients with HIV infection in antiretroviral therapy: pathogenic mechanisms and biological and morphological predictors of progression.
- Comorbidities and aging. Frequency and characteristics of non-AIDS events. Predictors and impact.
- Residual risk of transmission in men with HIV treated with antiretrovirals who have sex with other men.
- Predictors of long-term virological suppression and characterization of the associated immuno-inflammatory responses and changes in oxidative stress and in the biological leukocyte age.
Major contributions of the group are:
- Recognition of C-reactive protein and oxidative stress as markers of cardiovascular disease and mortality in HIV-infected patients on cART.
- Disclosing that endothelial function is impaired in patients with lipodystrophy.
- Description that a number of coinfections may play a role in the progression of artheriosclerosis, including hepatitis C virus, cytomegalovirus and varicella zoster, and herpes virus 8.
- Describing risk and predictors of different non-AIDS diseases in HIV-infected patients including cardiovascular events and of the contribution of oxidative stress to development of non-AIDS diseases.
- Conducting the first randomized clinical trial comparing an intensive versus a standard intervention in stable HIV-infected patients with moderate-high cardiovascular risk.