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University Of Miami To Embark On National Study Of Aging With HIV

Individual Florida counties can now authorize needle exchanges.
Sammy Mack
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The University of Miami is leading a national study of aging people with HIV. Researchers will explore the impacts of non-infectious conditions, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, on both women and men with HIV.

“It’s still an open field,” said Deborah Jones Weiss, a psychologist at UM’s Miller School of Medicine and one of the leaders of the study. “We’re really discovering more about the impact of HIV over time today — even this long as we’ve been following the virus.”

South Florida has one of the  highest rates of new cases of HIV in the country, according to the CDC — four times the national average. 

Weiss says Miami’s demographics will help researchers consider health disparities as well. “Here in Miami, we have a really diverse population that’s different from many other areas of the country,” she said.

Weiss is one of the three principal researchers, along with infectious disease physicians Margaret Fischl and Maria Alcaide. The team will be working with a dozen other sites across the country to launch the project.

The National Institutes of Health awarded the university $14 million for the seven-year study.

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Alexander Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the University of Miami. He majored in English and was the the editor-in-chief of The Miami Hurricane newspaper from 2014-15. He was WLRN's digital intern during summer 2015. He subscribes to too many podcasts and can't get away from covering the arts in Miami.