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The OPTIONS Project


The OPTIONS Project is a multi-study research program at UCSF. Our goal is to learn as much as possible about early HIV infection and to better understand how HIV is being transmitted now. OPTIONS is one of the largest studies of its kind in the world.

We offer studies for persons with recent HIV infection whether or not participants want to start treatment immediately. Key research questions include assessing the frequency with which drug resistant HIV is being transmitted, factors that may enhance or decrease HIV infectivity, and advancing our understanding of early immune responses in controlling HIV infection. For participants in long-term follow-up, OPTIONS is also part of an overall effort at UCSF and other institutions, the Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure program. This effort is studying how HIV persists in persons on effective treatment, and is aimed at identifying ways to cure HIV in the future.

OPTIONS also follows people who have been at high risk of getting HIV infected but remain HIV negative. This work is aimed at understanding what genetic and immune factors may protect against getting HIV infection.

Areas of Current Focus
OPTIONS has been working with early HIV infection since 1996. We have recently expanded our research, and are currently enrolling men who have sex with men who are HIV-negative or untested, as we study mechanisms that may protect people from getting HIV.

Key Publications
  1. Josefsson L, Eriksson S, Sinclair E, Ho T, Killian M, Epling L, Shao W, Lewis B, Bacchetti P, Loeb L, Custer J, Poole L, Hecht FM, Palmer S. Hematopoietic Precursor Cells Isolated From Patients on Long-term Suppressive HIV Therapy Did Not Contain HIV-1 DNA. J Infect Dis. 2012 Jul;206(1):28-34. Epub 2012 Apr 25. PubMed PMID: 22536001.
  2. Jain V, Liegler T, Vittinghoff E, Hartogensis W, Bacchetti P, Poole L, Loeb L, Pilcher CD, Grant RM, Deeks SG, Hecht FM. Transmitted drug resistance in persons with acute/early HIV-1 in San Francisco, 2002-2009. PLoS One. 2010 Dec 10;5(12):e15510. PubMed PMID: 21170322; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3000814.
  3. Jain V, Sucupira MC, Bacchetti P, Hartogensis W, Diaz RS, Kallas EG, Janini LM, Liegler T, Pilcher CD, Grant RM, Cortes R, Deeks SG, Hecht FM. Differential Persistence of Transmitted HIV-1 Drug Resistance Mutation Classes. J Infect Dis. 2011,203:1174-1181..
  4. Hecht FM, Wellman R, Busch MP, Pilcher CD, Norris PJ, Margolick JB, Collier AC, Little SJ, Markowitz M, Routy JP, Holte S. Identifying the early post-HIV antibody seroconversion period. J Infect Dis. 2011;204:526-33 .
  5. Hecht FM, Hartogensis W, Bragg L, Bacchetti P, Atchison R, Grant R, Barbour J, Deeks SG. HIV RNA level in early infection is predicted by viral load in the transmission source. AIDS. 2010 Apr 24;24(7):941-5. PubMed PMID: 20168202; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2887742.

For more information, contact Options Project staff at 415-502-8100, or email us at options@php.ucsf.edu, or visit us at http://labs.ucsf.edu/options/.