Ho has spent decades researching the pathogenesis of HIV infection, in particular the dynamics of HIV replication, and his work has led to the development of life-prolonging combination antiretroviral therapy. Currently, his group focuses on developing vaccines as well as other innovative prevention strategies. As head of the China AIDS Initiative, Ho seeks to comprehensively address the HIV/AIDS crisis in that country.
The Ho lab has been actively engaged in AIDS research for 36 years and has published more than 400 papers on the subject. The lab’s work helped pioneer the field of HIV quantitation in infected people. In the last decade, his research team extended this work and revolutionized the paradigm for AIDS pathogenesis by demonstrating the highly dynamic nature of HIV replication in vivo. Their elegant studies on HIV dynamics formed the foundation for combination antiretroviral therapy, which Ho also helped to champion. Such a treatment approach has transformed a death sentence to a manageable disease and is now being applied widely throughout the developing world.
Ho has received numerous honors and awards for his scientific accomplishments. He is the recipient of 12 honorary doctorates, including those from Columbia University and Tsinghua University. On January 8, 2001, he was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Clinton.