Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) caused by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is arguably the greatest epidemic currently facing the human race. But there is hope – Tulane University researchers are currently testing a number of new therapies and vaccines.

Globally, AIDS causes more deaths than any other infectious disease, and the number of new cases continues to rise at alarming rates every year.

>1964

The Delta Regional Primate Center opened in Covington, Louisiana. Under the groundbreaking direction of Arthur J. Riopelle, the center grew in to what is today known as the Tulane Regional Primate Research Center. It was through the research at the center that the African origin of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) was discovered. The center also established that the West African sooty mangabey is the natural host of SIV and the most likely source of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-2 (HIV-2).

>1987

Gary Lloyd (SW ’61, G ’65) establishes the Institute on Research and Training in HIV/AIDS Counseling at the School of Social Work. The counseling training manu- al developed by the institute is used by the World Health Organization and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

>1990

Dr. Michael Murphey-Corb developed an early prototype AIDS vaccine based on a highly effective vaccine that prevented SIV in rhesus monkeys.

>2010

Virologist Preston Marx discovers that the HIV-like virus that infects monkeys is thousands of years older than previously thought. Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), which is the ancestor to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), is between 32,000 and 75,000 years old and may even be more than a million years old, according to genetic analysis of unique SIV strains found in monkeys on Bioko, an island off the coast of Africa.