Director's Message

Paul A. Volberding, MD

It's a pleasure to welcome you to the UCSF AIDS Research Institute. The recent outbreaks of new viruses, Ebola and now Zika, remind us of all we've learned in the UCSF response to HIV and how vital it is to continue our research efforts. The ARI remains dedicated to fighting HIV, and now, 35 years after its emergence, we are able to seriously consider an end to this epidemic. With the continued groundbreaking work of our researchers and the support of our ARI friends, we are primed to take on this challenge.

Getting to Zero: ARI investigators Diane Havlir and Susan Buchbinder are among the leaders of an amazing community-wide coalition attempting to make San Francisco the first city in the world to end new cases of HIV infection, prevent all HIV-related deaths, and eliminate the stigma that has continued to drive the epidemic. The Getting to Zero coalition includes political and community leaders, service-based organizations, industry allies, philanthropic supporters and many others. San Francisco is in the lead among similar efforts worldwide, as one might expect given our long established leadership in responding to HIV/AIDS.

Finding a Cure: ARI scientists are world leaders in the grand challenge of discovering a cure for HIV infection—a most difficult challenge, but one we must attempt. With NIH and pharmaceutical industry support, and now the largest-ever donation by the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), we have assembled the largest cure program in the world. We are home to the amfAR HIV Cure Research Institute, with an outstanding scientific team led by the ARI director. Encompassing UCSF and our close affiliates, the Gladstone Institutes and Blood Systems Research Institute, we hope to find a cure that can work in San Francisco and around the world.

Supporting the Next Generation of HIV Scientists: The long-term research vision we know will be needed to end the HIV epidemic worldwide demands recruiting bright new scientists to this battle. The ARI does this by providing direct support to the most promising early career scientists and by joining forces with close partners CFAR (the UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research) and CAPS (UCSF's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies) to mentor this talent and provide pilot funds for their innovative research—crucially important in an era of constrained NIH grant support.

The ARI is proud of the always-vibrant San Francisco HIV research community it serves. The above programs and others show that the hope so many have had in us for so long remains as justified now as ever. That hope keeps us dedicated to and excited about our work.

Thanks to all our members and friends.

Paul Volberding, MD