Dr P. Reiss (b. 1954) has been appointed professor of internal medicine, in particular the complications of the treatment of HIV infection, at the Faculty of Medicine of the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA).
Peter Reiss is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases and his professional career has largely been determined by the HIV epidemic, which startled the world twenty-five years ago. Reiss saw his first patient with this new infectious disease as a first year resident in 1981. This unfortunately was to be the first of a long series of patients which he was to care for in later years when working as an attending physician in the AMC aids department. From the late eighties up to the present Reiss has been heavily involved with clinical research – both nationally and internationally – on antiretroviral therapy. He personally witnessed the revolutionary change in the mid-nineties from aids as a relentless lethal disease to a treatable chronic condition.
The daily and lifelong use of combinations of antiviral agents, which is needed according to the current standard of care, is needed to achieve this success, is however associated with a wide range of possible side effects, which in turn can harm patients’ quality of life as well as their compliance with treatment, thereby potentially undermining the sustained success of treatment. In his current research Reiss focuses on improving our understanding of the origin and consequences of the adverse effects of HIV therapy, which include an increased risk of atherosclerotic heart disease, diabetes and physically evident and sometimes stigmatising alterations in the distribution of body fat. By conducting clinical trials, as well as translational and observational research, using a multidisciplinary approach, Reiss aims to contribute to the development of treatment for HIV-infected individuals, which is both safe and effective over the longer term. His hopes are that in the next few years these insights can be equally applied to the rapidly expanding HIV treatment programmes in developing countries.
Reiss has been working at the division of Internal Medicine of the Academic Medical Center (AMC/UvA) since 1987 and has been associate professor of Medicine and senior attending physician since 1996. He is also deputy director of the Dutch National Aids Therapy Evaluation Center (NATEC); besides, Reiss is scientific adviser of the International Antiviral Therapy Evaluation Center (IATEC). Furthermore, he is HIV clinical section editor of Antiviral Therapy, vice-president of the European Aids Clinical Society, and was recently nominated as member of the Governing Council of the International Aids Society.