"A Chance to be Part of the Solution"
UW Positive Research is an Organized Research Unit within the University of Washington. UW Positive Research (UWPR) aims to conduct rigorous human-centered research focused on HIV treatment, HIV remission/cure, and comorbidities associated with HIV.
We partner with patients and providers throughout UW, along with other collaborating institutions and community-based organizations, emphasizing the participation of marginalized communities such as gender-diverse and BIPOC populations in our work at all levels. Our work is guided by local and global Community Advisory Board (CAB) input; the CABs are mainly comprised of people living with HIV or from populations impacted by HIV around the region.
Together with the Seattle Vaccine Trials Unit (VTU), we comprise Seattle’s NIH-funded HIV clinical trials sites but are in separate facilities- UWPR at Harborview, and the VTU in UW-leased space in Cabrini Medical Tower.
As a research unit, we are committed to science, inclusion, diversity, and meeting our community’s needs—and we would like our name to honor those commitments while upholding our collective history. We also want our name to reflect the language people use to tell their own stories about HIV, as well as the current scope of our work which has now expanded to include research on hepatitis, other sexually transmitted infections, addictions, comorbidities experienced by people with HIV, and COVID-19 treatments.
When the UW ACTU was established in 1987 at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, very little was known about AIDS or its cause. In the four decades since, science and public opinion have seen a considerable shift in their understanding of HIV and AIDS. People with HIV who are diagnosed early, connected with care, and start on antiretroviral therapy can achieve life-long viral suppression that prevents transmission of the virus to others; many people with HIV now have never had nor will ever be diagnosed with AIDS.
As science has advanced over time, the language we use to describe HIV has also changed. We hope our new name mirrors the language that many people with HIV or Positive folx use to describe themselves. Our aim is also to better welcome a broader group of research participants in our work, including younger people, gender diverse people, and people of color, and we believe that a name change is one part of achieving that goal.
We conducted a preliminary survey to our Community Advisory Board (CAB), asking for words and values that they would like to see reflected in our new name, followed by a CAB meeting sharing the results of that survey, getting feedback, and closing in on some ideas. We requested additional feedback on the proposed new name with a follow-up survey sent to our CAB and posted on our social media pages, through which we received broad support for our new name, UW Positive Research.
The result is a name that we’re proud of, that reflects the work that we’re doing now, and still resonates with our community members. We are excited to include you in research at UW Positive Research, where our mission is to conduct rigorous human-centered research with the overarching goal of improving the medical care and advancing science for People with HIV. Our research efforts are directed by cutting-edge science and guidance by our local Community Advisory Board. Our goal is to conduct high quality research focused, but not exclusively, on HIV treatment, HIV remission, and comorbidities and co-infections associated with HIV. As a research participant, you are key to helping advance science for others living with or at risk of HIV.
Thank you for continuing to make a Positive impact with us.
As a reassurance, while the signage in the hospital and on our forms is changing, please note that you can continue to reach us at the same location: 2 West Clinic, Harborview Medical Center. Our screening/text phone number remains 206 773-7129
Ann Collier, MD
Born in Michigan, Dr. Collier attended Wellesley College for her undergraduate education and completed her degree at Dartmouth Medical School. She went on to intern at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill before finishing her medical residency and infectious disease fellowship at the University of Washington. In 1981, Dr. Collier saw her first AIDS patient in New Hampshire, who she assumed to be her last; she never thought she would see another patient the same symptoms. When Dr. Collier moved out to Seattle to complete her fellowship, she started to see an increasing number of patients with AIDS-related symptoms. From then on, she felt compelled to devoting her work to increasing the quality of treatments so that patients with this newly discovered disease could live their life with ease. Dr. Collier moved into research and helped start the UW AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU) in 1987. Her motivation to better the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS can be seen in the various articles, journals, and studies she has authored. Seeing the feedback loop that starts from her work and is then seen in a patient’s progression keeps her in this particular field of research. Dr. Collier is a Professor at the UW School of Medicine and serves as the Director Emerita of UW Positive Research.