About the center, smiling man

About the center

Welcome from the director

Welcome to Virginia Commonwealth University’s HIV/AIDS Center. The Center coordinates many of the HIV/AIDS-related clinical, research, educational, and support activities within the university, the greater Richmond area and the Commonwealth of Virginia. We provide a range of services for various audiences including individuals living with HIV, physicians, pharmacists, dentists, midlevel providers, nurses, social workers, substance abuse professionals, mental health providers and case managers. We welcome interactions with others who share our goals of preventing the spread of HIV and improving the health and social condition of persons living with HIV infection. Our multidisciplinary staff is dedicated to achieving these goals through the collaborative efforts of research, education, and clinical care. I invite you to browse our Web site and begin to learn about the many programs and services that we offer.


Daniel Nixon DO, PhD
Director, VCU HIV/AIDS Center


The VCU HIV/AIDS Center was originally established as the AIDS Program of VCU in 1986 by Lisa Kaplowitz, MD. It was later re-established to its current name and function as a part of the 1993 VCU Strategic Plan. The center continued to grow over the years with support from many sources including federal Ryan White Act dollars for HIV-related clinical and education activities along with generous support from the Virginia Department of Health. Center programs range from clinical care, social services support, outreach programs, multidisciplinary clinical training, anonymous HIV testing and peer advocacy programs. The VCU HIV/AIDS Center has a long-standing relationship with community-based HIV/AIDS service organizations, health care providers, educators and researchers not only in Richmond, but also throughout Virginia and across the nation.

In 2005, the Richmond AIDS Consortium or “RAC” joined the VCU HIV/AIDS Center as part of a reorganization effort designed to further broaden the scope of the center. Founded by Tom Kerkering, MD., RAC brings a 20-year record of excellence as a leading in National Institutes of Health sponsored HIV clinical trials unit. By fully integrating RAC’s vast experience in conducting quality NIH and pharmaceutical industry HIV clinical trials with the center’s long standing commitment to service, the VCU HIV/AIDS Center is now the largest and broadest of its kind in the commonwealth. Now located within the Division of Infectious Diseases at the VCU Medical Center, the center stands poised to further expand its capability to serve the citizens of Virginia and the larger world community afflicted with and affected by HIV.


The mission of the VCU HIV/AIDS Center is to improve the health and social condition of persons living with HIV infection and to prevent the spread of HIV. To accomplish this mission, excellence in HIV clinical care is combined with globally relevant clinical, translational, and prevention research as well as involvement in multidisciplinary HIV-related education activities and public policy throughout Virginia. Collaboration with numerous VCU, local, state and federal individuals and agencies make this mission possible.