Milestones and Accomplishments

Marcus Conant and Paul Volberding 1981

Paul Volberding, MD, and others begin treating a growing number of gay men suffering from Kaposi's sarcoma at SF General Hospital.

Jay Levy 1980s

Paul Volberding, MD; the late Constance Wofsy, MD; Donald Abrams, MD; and others create the world's first dedicated AIDS clinic in-patient facility, Ward 86, at SFGH.

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

John and Deborah Greenspan 1984

John Greenspan, BDS, PhD, and Deborah Greenspan, DSc, BDS, are the first to describe a lesion known as hairy leukoplakia, often the first outward sign of AIDS.


Drs. Tom Coates, Steve Hulley, Susan Kegeles and Leon McKusick establish the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies to conduct theory-based behavioral HIV/AIDS prevention research

Diane Wara

Diane Wara, MD, co-founds the first center to care for pregnant women with HIV; within a decade, nearly all mother-to-child transmission is eliminated in California using a short course of antiviral drugs.

Charles Craik

The laboratory of Charles Craik, PhD, is the first to use 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, which remain the standard of care today.


Then UCSF School of Medicine Dean Dr. Haile Debas spearheads an effort to unite all HIV/AIDS programs and laboratories at UCSF, resulting in creation of the AIDS Research Institute


Drs. Tom Coates and Michelle Roland develop a pioneering post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) drug and counseling program (2000)

CoE on Transgender Health

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

Robert Grant

The iPrEx pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) study led by Robert Grant, MD, MPH, is the first to show that use of AIDS drugs lowers the risk of infection.

UCSF's Diane Havlir, MD, leads a change to ART guidelines, recommending the offering of treatment to all who test HIV-positive.

Steve Deeks

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, comunity-based HIV treatment and prevention study in East Africa, launching the enrollment of over 320,000 participants.

Ward 86

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


UCSF leaders in the citywide Getting to Zero Consorium draft a strategic plan aimed at reducing new HIV infections, AIDS deaths, and stigma to zero in San Francisco.


UCSF receives the amfAR Institue 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 togehter 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.


Dr. 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.

Photos: Levy and Wara by David Powers; Craik by Cindy Chew; Havlir by Steve Babuljak