Appointment of Josep Mallolas, Group leader
AIDS research is key to finding the cure for one of the most time-consuming and infectious diseases of our time

Current research

Problem

HIV infection and AIDS are among the most important avoidable causes of death in the world. In Spain, there are some 140,000 infected individuals, of whom 100,000 are receiving antiretroviral treatment. Every year, some 3,000 new infections are diagnosed, 800 of which are in Catalonia.

To stop this epidemic, it is necessary to address our efforts at all aspects of the infection: clinical (ageing of those infected and new comorbidities), diagnosis (early identification), therapeutics (search for new treatments) and preventive (studies of the immunopathology of infection and development of vaccines). Only by optimising all of this research can there be any real control of the disease.

Approach

The HIV-AIDS unit serves 6,000 people infected with HIV, most of whom receive antiretroviral treatment. The group also conducts a wide range of research activities, divided into two parts: firstly, clinical research focusing on antiretroviral efficacy and tolerance, resistance mechanisms, and opportunistic infections and coinfection. Secondly, it performs basic research in Retrovirology and Viral Immunopathology, which includes the development of vaccines.

Impact

Our research has played a key role in the development of strategies for the treatment and prevention of HIV and opportunistic infections and coinfection, both nationally and internationally. The impact of our research activity can be quantified through over 600 international publications in peer-review journals with an impact factor of over 4,000, approximately 20,000 citations and over 50 manuscripts cited more than 50 times.