Welcome to CNTN

The California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network

The California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network (CNTN) is a research resource based at the University of California, San Diego, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health (NIMH/NIH Award Number U24MH100928). CNTN acquires and makes available well-characterized tissues from individuals who have Central Nervous System involvement with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

CNTN is an organization of research scientists and clinicians dedicated to the study of neurological and psychological impairment in HIV infection. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, CNTN is one of four sites participating in the larger National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium. Together, these researchers use their shared knowledge and resources to develop uniform methods for studying HIV‑affected populations with neurological disorders.

Requests for Research Specimens

The National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC) coordinates requests for HIV+ tissues, fluids, and data from NeuroAIDS researchers across the globe. To submit a request through the NNTC, please visit www.nntc.org.

HNRP at INS 2019

The theme for the INS 2019 Annual Meeting in New York City is: Embracing the Biopsychosocial Melting Pot. This year mimics past years as researchers from the HNRP present a myriad of research topics related to cognition, HIV, substance use, medical measures and behavior. 


Campbell L. Use of neuroimaging to inform optimal neurocognitive criteria for detecting HIV associated brain abnormalities.

Hussain M, Morgan E, Iudicello J, Heaton R, Grant I. Loneliness predicts risky sexual beliefs and intentions in Methamphetamine dependent (MA+) individuals.

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HIV Survivors Give Their ‘Last Gift’ In A New San Diego Study

September 11, 2017

Dr. Davey Smith and Susanna Concha-Garcia spoke with KPBS about The Last Gift, a new study at the University of California, San Diego, designed to help understand HIV reservoirs. The Last Gift Project works closely with the long-standing California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network (CNTN), which has been enrolling participants for tissue donation studies for almost 20 years. The Last Gift complements the CNTN by doing intensive end of life monitoring to determine where HIV resides when active replication is suppressed. By learning more about where the virus hides, researchers hope to learn how to target these hidden pockets of HIV for eradication; an essential step on the road to finding a cure.

Listen to the KPBS story by David Wagner here.

CNTN Staff at San Diego Pride 2017

Once again staff representing the California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network hosted a booth at the San Diego Pride event on July 15, 2017.

San Diego Pride presents a unique opportunity to connect with the community, including many current, former, or future research participants. This event has always been an excellent venue to share information about HIV and discuss our current research projects – while enjoying an exciting celebration of community! Thank you to everyone who participated in our San Diego Pride event, including staff and members of the community, without whom none of this would be possible.

CNTN Staff Participate in San Diego Pride 2016

As in years past the staff of the California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network will host a booth at the San Diego Pride event on July 16 and 17, 2016.  Stop by and say hello!  Have some fun and spin the wheel for a prize (while supplies last).

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New Study - Brain Amyloid and HAND in the cART Era

Dr. Cris Achim received a 5-year NIH grant to study a key pathway in the process of macrophage clearance of beta amyloid from the brain.

Beta-amyloid, if it accumulates, can clump together in the brain and block cell-to-cell signaling; a process also implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. There is evidence that pathogenic mechanisms leading to HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy may be associated with accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain of aging long term survivors. Certain antiretroviral drugs have also been associated with damage to blood vessels in the brain; a process which may further limit the ability of brain macrophages to clear beta amyloid before it accumulates.

This new study will validate the diagnostic value of amyloid monitoring in clinical specimens in individuals with increased genetic risk for accumulation of beta amyloid and identify potential therapeutic targets implicated in amyloid clearance.