T003: Oral HIV/AIDS Research Alliance at UCSF

Investigator: Caroline Shiboski, DDS, MPH, PhD
Sponsor: Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.

Location(s): United States


Oral HIV/AIDS Research Alliance (OHARA) Collaborative Science Group OHARA, which is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), was created in 2006 as a subcommittee of the Optimization of Co-Infection and Co-Morbidity Management (OpMAN) Scientific Committee within the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). Since the restructuring of the ACTG in June 2011, it is now a Collaborative Science Group that reports directly to the ACTG Scientific Agenda Steering Committee. OHARA’s main goals are to investigate the oral complications associated with HIV/AIDS and to address such overarching questions as the effects of potent antiretrovirals on the development of opportunistic infections, variation, and resistance of opportunistic pathogens in the context of immune suppression. The OHARA infrastructure is comprised of three units: the Clinical Research Unit (based at UCSF; PI: Caroline Shiboski), the Medical Mycology Unit (based at CASE; PI: Mahmoud Ghannoum), and the Virology and Specimen Banking Unit (based at UNC; Co-PIs: Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque and Dirk Dittmer). Shared use of key support services and of existing research infrastructures (within ACTG) is the hallmark of OHARA, and clinical studies and trials designed by OHARA Investigators are conducted at ACTG-affiliated Clinical Research Sites/Clinical Trials Units in the United States and in resource-poor countries. OHARA has also developed collaborations with the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC), and is exploring new collaborations with the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) network. To-date OHARA has developed nine protocols (U.S. and Non-U.S.) including five protocols that are ongoing and currently collecting data, one protocol that has been completed and is in data analysis phase, and three protocols that are in development and about to open to accrual. Four of these protocols are collaborations with both ACTG and AMC. Furthermore, OHARA investigators are collaborating with the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Studies (PHACS) network to conduct an oral assessment among perinatally-exposed, HIV-infected and non-infected, children and adolescents.

OHARA is conducting or planning clinical trials and studies pertaining to four main priority areas:
  • Oral tumor viruses and associated diseases
  • Oral mycoses and other mucosal diseases
  • Oral immune activation and reservoirs
  • Pediatric dental and salivary gland disease