Center for HIV & Aging at Gladstone
The Gladstone Institutes launched the Center for HIV & Aging in 2012 to address the fact that people with HIV in the United States and other developed nations are dying 10–20 years earlier than their peers without HIV. These patients are not dying of AIDS-related diseases, however. Instead, they are succumbing to diseases normally associated with old age. This “accelerated aging” often causes the early onset of illnesses, such as dementia, heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes and various cancers. Accelerated aging is now the number one HIV-related health crisis in the developed world. Gladstone investigators, who are at the forefront of tackling this unaddressed issue, have created a preeminent Center with two central imperatives:
- To determine exactly how HIV promotes accelerated aging and what can be done to arrest the process
- To improve the quality of life for people with HIV by delaying the onset of, and ultimately preventing, these age-related illnesses.
As with all of our research on HIV/AIDS, the investigations at the Center for HIV & Aging are part of Gladstone's broader goals: to better prevent and treat—and ultimately cure—HIV/AIDS.
Our scientists are currently investigating a variety of hypotheses concerning the cause of accelerated aging. Chronic inflammation, itself caused by persistent low-level production of the virus, may be to blame. HIV medications themselves may also be a culprit, or a combination of these factors may be responsible.
Our researchers are uniquely positioned to unravel—and solve—this problem because of our combined expertise in HIV/AIDS biology, aging, chronic inflammation and cancer. Our team of innovative researchers is engaging multiple biological strategies to uncover solutions to this problem.
This research holds the promise of restoring a longer lifespan for people with HIV. It also offers new and important insights into the aging process for those who do not carry the virus.
The Center’s lead investigators include: