Milestones and Accomplishments


UCSF/SFGH physicians and nurses begin treating gay men suffering from Kaposi's sarcoma, an AIDS-defining cancer, at SF General Hospital.


Nurse educator Angie Lewis begins to incorporate HIV/AIDS education, research and patient care into the UCSF School of Nursing. 



Paul Volberding, MD; Constance Wofsy, MD; Donald Abrams, MD; Marcus Conant, MD; Diane Jones, RN; and Cliff Morrison, RN create the world's first dedicated AIDS clinic, Ward 86 and Ward 5A/5B, at SFGH, establishing the "San Francisco model" of compassionate AIDS care. 

Jay Levy, MD, discovers HIV at the same time as researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France.


John and Deborah Greenspan 1984

John and Deborah Greenspan first describe the lesion hairy leukoplakia, often the first outward sign of AIDS, and James Dilley co-founds the AIDS Health Project, focusing on mental health support for people living with AIDS.



UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies is created and Diane Wara co-founds the first center to care for pregnant women with HIV.



Charles Craik’s laboratory first uses the X-ray structure of HIV protease to identify an inhibitor that blocks the enzyme’s activity, leading to the design of lifesaving protease inhibitor drugs.


UCSF is the primary sponsor for the 6th International Conference on AIDS, held in San Francisco, with the theme “AIDS in the Nineties: From Science to Policy.”



The UCSF International Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Clinical Training in Nursing is founded through a series of NIH training grants by PIs Carmen Portillo and William Holzemer.

Carol Dawson-Rose and other nurse experts begin to educate other health professionals about HIV/AIDS research through the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center at UCSF.



HIV/AIDS programs and laboratories at UCSF are united as the AIDS Research Institute.



Tom Coates and Michelle Roland develop a pioneering post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) drug and counseling program. 



The UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health is established to provide leadership, training, advocacy, and HIV-prevention resources for transgender individuals.



Eric Goosby leaves to become the head of PEPFAR and Global AIDS Ambassador in the Obama Administration, helping millions of people with HIV to access ART (he returned to UCSF in 2013).


Robert Grant

UCSF’s Diane Havlir leads change to antiretroviral therapy guidelines, recommending treatment to all who test HIV-positive.

Robert Grant’s iPrEx pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) study first shows that use of AIDS drugs lowers the risk of infection.



UCSF scientists Steven Deeks, MD; Mike McCune, MD, PhD; and Warner Greene, MD, PhD, are involved in two of three Martin Delaney Collaboratory grants awarded by the NIH to advance progress toward a cure for HIV.

Dr. Deeks is appointed co-chair of an international committee to explore scientific strategy toward eradication of latent HIV, effectively a cure.

Dr. Havlir begins SEARCH, the pioneering test and treat, community-based HIV treatment and prevention study in East Africa, launching the enrollment of over 320,000 participants.



UCSF AIDS leaders Diane Havlir, Susan Buchbinder, Jeff Sheehy and community leaders convene the first community forum that was the genesis of “Getting to Zero San Francisco”—a multi-sector consortium aspiring to become the first municipal
jurisdiction to achieve zero new infections, deaths and stigma.

The HIV/AIDS Division at SFGH initiates the RAPID program to make antiretroviral treatment immediately available to those who test HIV-positive.



UCSF receives the amfAR Institute for Cure Research award, a $20 million grant dedicated to finding a cure for HIV by 2020. With PI Paul Volberding, the team includes Drs. Steve Deeks, Warner Greene, Peter Hunt, and Satish Pillai - bringing together researchers from UCSF, the Gladstone, and the Blood Systems Research Institute. 



UCSF performs pioneering transplant surgery from HIV+ donor to HIV+ recipient. Dr. Peter Stock fought to overturn laws prohibiting such transplant surgeries in order to perform California's first - and one of the nation's first - procedure between an HIV positive donor and recipient.

The ARI Targeted Action Group (TAG) Vaccine Group turns 20, marking decades of dedicated interdisciplinary and cross-industry work dedicated to advances in HIV vaccine research.



Ward 86, under Monica Gandhi’s leadership, launches POP-UP, the first clinic program specifically for those struggling with housing. This follows in the footsteps of other Ward 86 “first programs”: RAPID same-day treatment upon HIV diagnosis, and Golden Compass for persons over 50 living with HIV.

Monica Gandhi and UCSF announced as Conference co-Chair and Local Scientific Partner for AIDS2020, the 23rd International AIDS Conference, returning to San Francisco for the first time in 30 years - this time in partnership with Oakland.



UCSF participates in the 23rd International AIDS Conference held jointly in Oakland and San Francisco


Photos: Levy and Wara by David Powers; Craik by Cindy Chew; Havlir by Steve Babuljak; GTZ by Elena Zhukova; Deeks by Susan Merrell