Research Interests

HIV Infection and AIDS

Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects one in every 200 people, infecting over 36 million people worldwide. Almost two thirds of the infections occur in eastern and southern Africa. In the US, it is estimated that more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV. As of 2019, Washington DC has one of the highest rate of infection in the US, with an estimated 1.8% rate.  

After initial infection, HIV replicates and depletes CD4 T cells, leading to the deterioration of the immune system. In the absence of treatment, the disease progresses into Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). During AIDS, HIV infected individuals became susceptible to opportunistic infections by parasites (i.e. Toxoplasma spp.), Fungi (i.e. Candida spp.), or viruses (i.e. Herpes virus HHV-8, causative agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma). The decrease of the immune defenses and the increase in opportunistic infections leads to death. More than 34 million people have died of HIV/AIDS worldwide.