Since the first diagnosis in the United States in 1982, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has gone on to become a global pandemic with over 35 million people around the world now living with the infection, including more than 1 million people in the US.
The Yale School of Public Health has a long history in research on the disease starting with pioneering efforts in the late 1980s that led to the establishment of one of the first needle exchange programs in the US to stem transmission of the virus through intravenous drug use. The Yale School of Medicine and the Yale School of Nursing have engaged deeply in research, training and service in response to HIV and related conditions such as addiction, HCV and tuberculosis in Connecticut and globally.
In 1997 the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA), New England's only National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded AIDS research center opened at YSPH. It brings together and supports researchers in innovative, interdisciplinary work focused on the implementation of HIV prevention and treatment and the elimination of HIV disparities.
Today, many studies focus on the effects of stigma and lifestyle on risk, especially among vulnerable populations such as LGBTQ people, victims of interpersonal violence, sex workers, and persons who inject drugs as well as the interaction of HIV with other chronic conditions such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and malaria. Other work focuses on the HIV continuum of care and how community research capacity can strengthen prevention and intervention efforts globally.