The UCLA CARE Center provides state-of-the-art, sensitive medical care and conducts clinical trials for people living with HIV and AIDS.
The UCLA Center for Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE) provides state-of-the-art medical care and conducts clinical trials for people living with HIV and AIDS. The center’s highly trained, nationally recognized physicians are leaders in the field of HIV medicine, infectious diseases, oncology and other areas relevant to the health of our patients. The research team is committed to conducting a broad program of high-quality clinical, behavioral and prevention research to promote the health of people living with or at risk of acquiring HIV and other infectious diseases.
Since 1981, UCLA has led the world in HIV/AIDS research and patient care. That was also the year Tom Gillman first came to UCLA to be treated for what would come to be recognized as AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). He was seen by a lone oncology researcher and his nurse. Now, more than three decades later, Gillman still receives his HIV primary care from the same UCLA doctor. But more important, he is still alive to tell his story, determined that “something else will kill him besides HIV.”
The HIV clinical program at UCLA was founded out of necessity in 1981 by Ronald Mitsuyasu, M.D. Working at that time alongside Jerome Groopman, M.D., who went on to become a world specialist in the AIDS/cancer area, Mitsuyasu was seeing patients who had exhibited symptoms of KS, a condition that would soon be identified with AIDS. Recognizing that these patients required specialized care, he began HIV/AIDS research at UCLA, doing so with limited supervision and minimal institutional support. Funded by independent grants, he hired Susie McCarthy as a research nurse in 1983, and together they set out to face the challenges of HIV head on. In spite of the fears surrounding HIV/AIDS then, they were dedicated to their work purely because their patients needed care.
At a time when so little was known about HIV/AIDS that even with the most cutting edge research, the process of understanding the disease was slow and patients were often stigmatized and dying in large numbers, Mitsuyasu and McCarthy set the protocols that the rest of the U.S. and the world were to follow.
Over the decades, UCLA’s HIV research program has expanded to address the continually changing needs of patients. This has included partnering with nearly a dozen community organizations, such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and Being Alive, and organizing targeted outreach to women and ethnic communities. CARE Center doctors are at the forefront of research, conducting clinical trials and identifying new protocols for patient treatment and care.
Gifts to the CARE Center ensure that the work Mitsuyasu began so long ago will go on and that UCLA will continue to break new ground in the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS. And that patients like Gillman will live longer, more productive lives.
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