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HIV/AIDS and Oral Health Research

Contact: Dr. Gallya Gannot301-451-5096,​

The HIV/AIDS and Oral Health Research Program at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) supports extramural basic, translational and clinical research on HI
V/AIDS to advance understanding of the underlying molecular, cellular, immunological and genetic mechanisms of HIV infection, the development of oral co-morbidities associated with HIV/AIDS, and the effects of HIV treatments on oral and dental tissues. 

The NIDCR HIV/AIDS and Oral Health Research Program supports research that is relevant to dental, oral and craniofacial health, and is aligned with the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) areas of emphasis​. Specific areas of research interest include, but are not limited to: 

Natural History and Epidemiology:​

  • HIV-related oral health disparities and their impact on treatment access and effectiveness.

Etiology and Pathogenesis:

  • Basic research focused on the transmission, acquisition, establishment, and maintenance of HIV infection in the oral cavity.
  • Clinical complications of HIV as related to oral tissues.


  • Oral mucosal vaccination (Oral HIVacc) research that is aimed at development of novel approaches for prophylactic oral mucosal vaccines, which when combined with systemic vaccination, might produce a synergistic effect for protection against HIV infection.
  • Oral vaccination as a therapeutic strategy in people that live with HIV.

Behavioral and Social Science Research:

  • Adherence and compliance of HIV positive individuals to oral hygiene and dental care.
  • Issues related to HIV rapid screening in the dental office, including provider willingness to implement screening and patient compliance with screening and referral for care.

Therapeutics Research:

  • Research aimed at assessing the impact of HIV drugs and treatment regimens on oral health and conditions. 
  • Basic, translational, clinical, and implementation research to develop combinations of antiretroviral drugs and compounds that can be used in sustained release formulations, in the oral cavity, for potential new pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) strategies.
  • Treatment of oral conditions in HIV-infected individuals receiving combination antiretroviral therapy.

 Research Toward a Cure:

  • Research on mechanisms and dynamics of HIV persistence and latency in long-lived cells within oropharyngeal tissue sites. 
  • Research to identify biomarkers and assays that measure the size of the viral reservoir in oropharyngeal tissues.
  • Research using biomarkers to predict and measure viral rebound in oropharyngeal tissues during an intensively monitored pause in antiretroviral treatment.

The NIDCR HIV/AIDS and Oral Health Research Program also encourages research that utilizes resources, research cohorts, and research facilities available within the HIV/AIDS research networks listed below:

  1. The Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS
  2. The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS
  3. The Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS
  4. Centers for AIDS research (CFARs
  5. AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG

Program announcements:

For further information about the NIDCR HIV/AIDS and Oral Health Research Program, please contact: 

Dr. Gallya Gannot, (301) 451-5096
Director, HIV/AIDS and Oral Health Research​ Program
Center for Clinical Research
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health
6701 Democracy Blvd.
Bethesda, MD 20892-4878
*(Courier please use: MD 20817)
Telephone: (301) 451-5096
Fax: (301) 480-8319|

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This page last updated: November 01, 2017