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Sex & Gender

The directors of the Sex and Gender Scientific Working Group (SWG) are Catherine Chappell of Pitt and Cheryl Cameron of CWRU.

The goal of the SWG is to engage CFAR members in research involving sex and gender differences in HIV.  This will involve monthly meetings with input from our gender advisory board and key community stakeholders to increase knowledge base on sex and gender, catalyzing new research, and integrating sex/gender in existing research. The focus will be on five opportunity areas already identified: (i) The impact of sex and obesity on HIV persistence and pathogenesis; (ii) Sex and gender disparities in HIV-associated immune activation; (iii) The interaction between antiretroviral medication and exogenous sex hormones; (iv) Understanding the multiple social and behavioral factors that impede successful treatment and prevention for cis- and transgender women; and (v) Sex differences in latency reversal and viral persistence.

To facilitate incorporation of sex and gender differences in HIV research, the SWG plans to develop in vitro gender-specific primary cell models of HIV latency for gender-based cell and molecular biology studies and provide a large repository of samples from cross-sectional studies and longitudinal cohorts that will be characterized by sex, gender, and hormonal (endogenous or exogenous) status.

Potential Mechanisms - Sex Hormone Effects Graphic

The SWG will also coordinate a junior mentorship program.  Scientific teams (junior and senior members) will be created with focus on sex and gender.

View the December 15, 2022, video from our Sex & Gender Scientific Working Group Kickoff Meeting here.

If you would like a better understanding of the difference between sex and gender, please visit the Genderbread Person website located here.