NEW OPERATIONS RESEARCH TRACK AT IAS 2009 AIMS TO BOLSTER CONFERENCE GOAL OF TRANSLATING AIDS RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE
LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN BASIC, CLINICAL, BIOMEDICAL PREVENTION
AND OPERATIONS RESEARCH SCIENCES TO BE PRESENTED AT 5th IAS CONFERENCE ON HIV PATHOGENESIS, TREATMENT AND PREVENTION
Holding Conference in Cape Town, South Africa Will Refocus Global Attention on the African Continent, Which Continues to Bear the Heaviest HIV/AIDS Burden
Cape Town, South Africa [11 February 2009] - While continuing its strong emphasis on basic, clinical and biomedical prevention sciences, the 5th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2009) -- to be held from 19-22 July in Cape Town, South Africa -- will feature a new programme track focusing on operations research, organizers announced today. The new track is intended to further emphasize one of the defining characteristics of the IAS conference: examining how scientific advances can be translated into practical interventions that respond to current challenges in HIV prevention, treatment and care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
"There are critical and timely questions facing researchers, clinicians and other practitioners in all areas of AIDS research -- from how to harness the body's immune system to fight early infection and what the optimal time is to begin treatment, to how to maximize the HIV prevention impact of antiretroviral therapy," said IAS President and IAS 2009 Conference Chair Dr. Julio Montaner, Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver. "IAS 2009 will examine what we know about the answers to these questions and many others, and will also review the latest operations research designed to improve understanding of how to translate new research into interventions that work in real world settings. Without such knowledge, even the best scientific developments are of little practical value," said Dr. Montaner.
IAS 2009 Host City: Cape Town, South Africa
Though IAS 2009 will be the first of its kind to take place in Africa, Durban hosted the XIII International AIDS Conference in 2000, a watershed event credited with bringing global attention to AIDS in low- and middle-income countries, and setting the stage for the current call for universal access by 2010. In selecting Cape Town as the host city, the IAS expects the conference to be an opportunity for the international scientific community to refocus its attention on the continued challenges facing a region that is still battling a generalized epidemic, as well as the latest efforts to fight it. IAS 2009 is organized by the IAS in partnership with Dira Sengwe, a local not-for-profit organization based in Pretoria, South Africa.
"Recent changes in South Africa's response to HIV have been truly remarkable and promise to contribute to a particularly dynamic conference," said Conference Co-Chair Prof. Hoosen Coovadia, Chairman of Dira Sengwe and Scientific Director of the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. "South Africa looks forward to again hosting the international community and to helping move the HIV research agenda forward."
"As one of the countries hardest hit by HIV, and one whose activism forced the larger global community to embrace the call for universal access to prevention and treatment in resource-limited countries, South Africa is in many ways the epicentre of this pandemic," added IAS Executive Director Craig McClure. "We at the IAS look forward to our return, and to the opportunity to examine the latest developments in AIDS research alongside our local and regional partners."
The abstract-driven programme will present the latest HIV research across all four conference tracks. In addition to a stronger focus on operations research, IAS 2009 will examine basic, clinical and biomedical prevention science. The basic sciences track will highlight advances in the understanding of HIV biology and the host response to the virus, including the processes underlying initial infection and the impact of these processes on viral transmission, the spread of HIV throughout the body, and the establishment and maintenance of viral reservoirs. The clinical sciences track will highlight new research findings related to the diagnosis, natural history and management of HIV infection; the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections; co-infections and other co-morbidities; and antiretroviral therapy and immunotherapy. The final track will focus on HIV biomedical prevention research and biomedical prevention interventions. Abstract submissions will be accepted for consideration through 25 February 2009 (24:00 CET).
In addition to abstract-driven sessions, the conference will offer daily plenary sessions featuring distinguished researchers, scientific leaders and clinical experts. Confirmed plenary speakers and topics include:
Stefano Bertozzi (Mexico, Financing)
Pedro Cahn (Argentina, ART in 2009: Successes and Challenges)
Wafaa El-Sadr (US, Inflammation and HIV: A New Paradigm)
Reuben Granich (US, ART for Prevention)
Jim Kim (US, Health Systems, Operations Research and Scaling Up HIV Prevention & Treatment)
Louise Kuhn (South Africa, Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission)
Prashini Moodley (South Africa, HIV/TB (XDR))
Jerry Sadoff (US, TB Vaccine)
Amalio Telenti (Switzerland, HIV Genetics)
Bruce Walker (US, Immune Control of HIV Replication)
Other non-abstract driven sessions include symposia, which offer moderated panel discussions that deal with a single, clearly defined issue, including: Immune Activation; Viral Fitness; Monitoring HIV in Resource-Poor Settings; Non-HIV Related Malignancies; Future Direction of HIV Prevention Research; New Strategies in HIV Testing and Surveillance; and Improving the Quality of HIV Prevention and Treatment in Research Limited Settings. Bridging sessions will provide an opportunity for a multi-disciplinary discussion of the following issues: Viral Eradication and Latency; Hepatitis B and C; Acute Infection and Correlates of Immune Control; and Women and Prevention.
Visit www.ias2009.org for more information, registration
Online registration (for media and delegates) is available at www.ias2009.org and delegates are encouraged to register by 6 May to avoid a last-minute surcharge. Satellite meeting and exhibition space booking is also available online, with 31 March and 31 May deadlines, respectively. Visit the conference website for more details, including information about a number of exciting pre-conferences, such as an invitation-only pre-conference entitled, "Accelerating the Impact of HIV Programming on Health Systems Strengthening," organized by the IAS with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.
To encourage broad participation in the conference, organizers are offering a two-tiered fee structure, with lower registration fees for delegates from middle- and low-income countries (as defined by the World Bank). Organizers will also offer up to 200 scholarships. In an effort to further expand access, webcasts of plenaries and other key sessions, as well as coverage and analysis of scientific developments, will be provided through the IAS' online partners.
IAS 2009 will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The last IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, held in 2007 in Sydney, attracted 5,500 participants from over 125 countries.
About the IAS 2009 Organizers
The International AIDS Society is the world's leading association of HIV professionals, with more than 12,000 members from 188 countries working at all levels of the global response to HIV/AIDS. IAS members represent scientists, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic. The IAS is the custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference and the host of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.
Dira Sengwe originated amongst a group of scientists and activists, who came together to help organize AIDS 2000 in order to bring attention to the plight of people living with HIV in Africa. Since 2003, Dira Sengwe has organized the South African AIDS Conference, which has grown into one of the largest national AIDS conferences in the world. In 2009, the conference will be expanded to focus on the region of Southern Africa as a whole.
Tel: +27 82 452 5878 (Pretoria, South Africa)
Tel: +41 (0)22 7100 832 (Geneva, Switzerland)
Tel: +41 22 7100 822 (Geneva, Switzerland)
Tel: +1 510 962 5545
Reproduced with permission - "International AIDS Society "
International AIDS society