Laboratory and clinical research efforts have been substantially expanded with the primary focus on viral diseases and associated complications. Although, for the first time since the start of the AIDS epidemic, the death rate from HIV infection has declined in New York, new challenges exist. Laboratory-based research efforts in the Division continue on the identification of a unique natural factor released by normal human immune cells (CD8+ cells) that has potent inhibitory activity against HIV. A new sensitive assay to monitor the course of infection in persons responding to therapy is being jointly developed by laboratory and clinial investigators. Complimentary clinical investigations in AIDS continues through the NIH-funded Mount Sinai clinical trials program, the study of HIV in women (WIS study) and the evaluation of new agents through pharmaceutical-sponsored trials. In the further study of the beneficial effects of Thalidomide, this drug was shown to enhance the healing of painful esophageal ulcers in HIV-infected individuals. Clinical trials of HIV vaccine candidates as well as immunological approaches to therapy have been initiated.
The Department of Medicine Annual Reports summarize the recent achievements of each of the eleven divisions that comprise the Department. Read about the Division of Infectious Diseases.