Oral HIV/AIDS Research Alliance

Investigator: Caroline Shiboski, DDS, MPH, PhD
Sponsor: Brigham and Women's Hospital

Location(s): Uganda; Zimbabwe; Botswana; South Africa; India; Argentina


The Oral HIV/AIDS Research Alliance (OHARA) was established in 2006 to provide the capacity to investigate the oral complications associated with HIV/AIDS within the ACTG infrastructure. Its goals were to explore the effects of potent antiretroviral therapy (ART) on the development of opportunistic infections, and variation and resistance of opportunistic pathogens in the context of immune suppression and long-term ART. 

OHARA has made key contributions to the field in several ways:
 (i) by developing/updating diagnostic criteria for oral disease endpoints commonly measured in OHARA protocols and in HIV/AIDS research in general and has creating standardized training modules, both for measuring these oral disease endpoints across clinical specialties, and for collecting oral fluid specimens;
 (ii) by implementing a total of nine protocols, six of which are completed. Three protocols involved domestic research sites, while three involved international research sites (in Africa, India, and South America)
 (iii) and by developing and validating a number of laboratory assays used in its protocols and in the field of oral HIV/AIDS research.