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International AIDS Society - www.iasociety.org

Five outstanding early-stage investigators awarded Fellowships at AIDS 2014 to conduct HIV and Drug Use Research

Day, 23 July 2014 (Geneva, Switzerland) - The International AIDS Society (IAS), today announced the recipients of the joint HIV and Drug Use Research Fellowship Programme. Recipients of the prestigious awards will receive US$75 000 each to advance scientific understanding of the linkages between drug use and HIV while fostering multinational research. The research fellowships are co-sponsored by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and ANRS (France REcherche Nord&sud Sida-hiv Hépatites).

"The strength and originality of this fellowship programme is that it addresses the pressing need for more scientific evidences on HIV and drug use on every aspects of research. Some projects aim to advance our knowledge of biological interactions between HIV infection and substance use while others, more operational, aim to directly improve access to service and care for people who use drugs," said IAS President Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Five young researchers from Australia, the United Kingdom, India, Zimbabwe and Iran will be awarded post-doctoral fellowships to pursue 18 months of post-doctoral training at institutes excelling in research on drug use and HIV. All fellows will conduct a research project in the field of HIV and drug use under the guidance of an expert at their host institutes.

"This year we are honouring and supporting some exceptional young scientists, who will help us build international collaborations among researchers in the HIV/AIDS and drug abuse fields,» said NIDA director Dr Nora D Volkow. «We are especially delighted to partner with IAS and ANRS, recognized world leaders in HIV/AIDS research, to connect these bright, early career scientists with established experts in HIV-related drug use research."

Drug use is a global problem that brings with it greatly increased risk of HIV infection. There is an urgent need to scale-up research in this field to better understand the impact of drug use on the disease progression and the interaction with treatment regimes. The fellowships will not only contribute to the scientific evidence, but also to the capacity building in fellows' countries of Origin. The research projects supported by the fellowships are an excellent example of the diversity of HIV-related drug use research covering neurological implications of drug use, the transmission of treatment resistance, and the study of risk behaviours and prevention programmes.

"Drug use continues to drive HIV and Hepatitis epidemics in various regions across the world. This fellowship programme encourages research to improve our understanding of HIV infection and drug use, and importantly to provide scientific results for evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions," explains Jean-François Delfraissy, ANRS Director. "I am confident that the five fellows of 2014 will contribute significantly to the field."

The HIV and Drug Use Research Fellowships will be awarded on 23 July 2014 in conjunction with the Wednesday Plenary Session in Plenary Room 2 at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), Melbourne, Australia. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, IAS President, Jacques Normand, Director of AIDS Research at NIDA, and Jean-François Delfraissy, ANRS Director, will present the awards to this year's recipients.

The 2014 HIV and Drug Use Research Fellowships are awarded to:

Dr Mojtaba Habibi Asgharabad, Iran, to conduct the research project An examination of risky decision-making learning among methamphetamine abusing persons with acute and early HIV-infection (AEH) as compared to chronic HIV-infection (CH): The mediator role of global neurocognitive functioning under the guidance of Dr David Moore, University of California, San Diego.

Dr Ernest Tafara Chivero, Zimbabwe, to conduct the research project HIV Tat and Cocaine mediated modulation of cAMP : Implications for NeuroAIDS under the guidance of Dr Shilpa Buch, University of Nebraska.

Dr Trupti Ishwar Gilada, India, to conduct the research project The effect of alcohol and substance abuse disorder on viral and host events during early HIV infection: genital viral load decay, transmitted drug resistance and host inflammatory markers under the guidance of Dr Ann Duerr, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington.

Dr Andrew Guise, United Kingdom, to conduct the research project Translating the promise of methadone for HIV care: a qualitative study of implementation in Kenya under the guidance of Dr Steffanie Strathdee, University of California, San Diego.

Dr Nicholas Peter Fraser Thomson, Australia, to conduct the research project Arresting HIV: Identifying and evaluating the impact of efforts to enhance and scale up partnerships between law enforcement and HIV programs working with people who use drugs on HIV and Hepatitis C incidence and risk behaviour among PWUDs in selected high priority countries across South, South-East and Central Asia under the guidance of Dr Chris Beyrer, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

ENDS

About the ANRS
The ANRS is the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis. Since 2012, ANRS has been an autonomous agency within Inserm. It aims to enhance scientific knowledge of these infections to help improve prevention, treatment and care. The ANRS brings together researchers of all disciplines and physicians from French research organizations, universities and hospitals. More information about activities and research priorities can be found on the ANRS home page at www.anrs.fr.

About the IAS
The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 16,000 members from more than 176 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. The IAS members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners.

The IAS is custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference, which will be held in Melbourne, Australia, 20-25 July 2014 and lead organizer of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 19-22 July 2015.
www.iasociety.org | www.aids2014.org | www.ias2015.org

For more information:
Sian Bowen (Geneva, Switzerland)                            
IAS Senior Manager, Communications
Email: Sian.Bowen@iasociety.org
Tel: +41 22 710 0864                                                    

Francesca Da Ros (Geneva, Switzerland)                            
IAS Senior Coordinator, Communications and Media                   
Email: Francesca.Daros@iasociety.org
Tel:  +41 22 710 0822

Source: International AIDS Society

"Reproduced with permission - International AIDS Society"

International AIDS Society
www.iasociety.org


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