Research Group in HIV and AIDS

Main lines of research

  • Medical care projects.
  • Study of pathogenic mechanisms altering body fat distribution.
  • Study of metabolic disorders associated with antiretroviral treatment.
  • Body composition changes.
  • New antiretroviral drugs.
  • Cardiovascular risk associated with antiretroviral treatment.
  • Comorbid conditions associated with HIV-1 infection.
  • Pharmacogenetics (toxicokinetics).
  • Bacterial meningitis.


Medical care projects

  • Continuing with, expanding and, as appropriate, consolidating the care team for HIV-1 infected patients, consisting currently of 3 staff physicians, 4 grantaided research assistants (including a Río Hortega-funded research assistant) and 2 nurses).
  • Continuing with participation in multicentre projects (especially the AIDS network, Gesida, VACH, EuroSIDA and ART collaboration).
  • Exploration of possible participation in clinical trials of new antiretroviral drugs. 
  • Increasing the number of HIV-1 infected patients attended to in our hospital (given current mortality rates, an estimated annual increase of 50 patients is required).
  • Continuing with current clinical research and mixed basic reserch-clinical research lines.

Pathogenic mechanisms altering body fat distribution

  • Study of metabolism in pyrimidines and derivatives in the genesis of lipodystrophy associated with HIV-1 and antiretroviral treatment.
  • Development of an animal (mouse) model of lipodystrophy.
  • Development of in vitro models (adipocyte cultures) to study the adipose toxicity of antiretroviral drugs.
  • Study of new manifestations of the lipodystrophy syndrome.
  • Development of measurements for antiretroviral drug concentrations in adipose tissue.
  • Exploration of the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of lipodystrophy associated with HIV-1 and antiretroviral treatment.
  • Metabolism of uridine and its role in the pathogenesis of lipodystrophy.

Metabolic disorders associated with antiretroviral treatment

  • In vivo assessment of metabolic toxicity associated with antiretroviral treatment.
  • Development of in vitro models (adipocyte cultures) to study the adipose toxicity of antiretroviral drugs.
  • Study of factors contributing factors to hepatic steatosis in patients receiving antiretroviral treatment.
  • Study of the pathogenic role of FGF21 in insulin resistance in HIV-1- infected patients.
  • Study of role of FABP4 in metabolic disorders associated with antiretroviral treatment.

Body composition

  • Definition of normal fat distribution in the general population.
  • Establishment of abnormal fat distribution patterns.
  • Development of a definition of lipodystrophy associated with HIV-1 and antiretroviral treatment.

New antiretrovirals drugs

  • Clinical trials of new antiretroviral drugs (phases 2 and 3).
  • Ritonavir and non-ritonavir pharmacokinetic potentiation ofantiretroviral drugs.

Cardiovascular risk associated with antiretroviral treatment

  • Establishment of a multicentre cardiovascular risk cohort.
  • Study of antiretroviral treatmentdependent and non treatmentdependent factors in multicentre cohorts.
  • Development of in vitro models (adipose cultures) to study adipose toxicity for antiretroviral drugs.

Comorbid conditions associated with HIV-1 infection

  • Study of ageing in different tissues associated with HIV-1 infection and antiretroviral treatment.
  • Study of fragility in patients with HIV-1 infection and the role of HAART.
  • Evaluation of the neurocognitive function in patients with HIV-1 infection with and without antiretroviral treatment.
  • Participation in multicentre cohort studies to determine the incidence of specific comorbidities (cancer, HCV, cardiovascular disease, osteogenesis/osteoporosis): EuroSIDA, ART Collaboration, Gesida, VACH, etc.
  • Treatment of HCV in patients with HIV-1 and its prognostic significance.

Pharmacogenetics (toxicogenetics)

  • Role of enzyme polymorphism of the pyrimidine pathways in the pathogenesis of lipodystrophy.
  • Role of enzyme polymorphism of the pyrimidine pathways in the pathogenesis of clinical toxicity (neuropathy, pancreatitis).
  • Role of IL28B polymorphism in spontaneous HCV clearance in the response to antiviral treatment based on interferon and ribavirin.

Bacterial meningitis

  • Identification of prognostic factors in adult bacterial meningitis.
  • Continuation with a cohort study of adult bacterial meningitis.
  • Identification of host-intrinsic factors in the in the pathogenesis
  • and prognosis of adult bacterial meningitis and meningococcal
  • disease.

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