Global meet on HIV research to open in Mumbai

The International Conference on "Emerging Frontiers and Challenges in HIV/AIDS Research" will be held in Mumbai, India during 5-8 February 2011. Organized by the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and Indian Society for the Study of Reproduction and Fertility (ISSRF), this conference aims to provide an interactive forum to the researchers who have been engaged in addressing the cutting edge researchable issues such as mode and mechanism of HIV infection and transmission; resistance to the pathogen as well as anti-HIV drugs; disease progression; and development of efficacious strategies for HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The number of people living with HIV worldwide has grown to alarming proportions in recent years with more than 25 million people including adults and newborns having succumbed to AIDS till date.

AIDS-related illnesses are projected to cause significant premature mortality in the coming decades. Consistent viral variation, differential immunological responses in host, viral affinity to different receptors and resistance to therapies have been recognized as the major impediments in developing effective therapeutic drugs and preventive tools such as vaccines and microbicides.

In addition to these daunting bottlenecks in the area of fundamental and clinical research on HIV/AIDS, other issues, which warrant urgent attention are lack of focused HIV prevention programmes for key populations and integrated programmes specifically designed for people living with HIV.

There is pressing need to fill up the research gaps in our knowledge about the prevention approaches among older adults, serodiscordant couples and determinants of vulnerability among young people such as intergenerational partnerships.

Special sessions on the policymaking and advocacy for the programmes on control and management of HIV/AIDS will be the other highlights of this international meet.

This meeting is expected to create an excellent convergence of the perspectives of those with specific interests in fundamental, clinical and sociobehavioural research on HIV/AIDS.

"We earnestly hope that the deliberations during the conference will help in translating theoretical advances into the clinical practices and contribute towards deaccelerating the pace of this pandemic" said Dr AH Bandivdekar, Organizing Secretary of this global meet and Assistant Director (Scientist D) at National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The basic science sessions will focus on the impact of pathogenic diversity and host response on transmission and progression of the disease, preclinical testing of anti HIV drugs, microbicides and vaccines.

The clinical science sessions will cover antiretroviral therapies resistance to drug therapy, limitations in HIV diagnosis, counseling and testing of sero-discordant couples and clinical trials of microbicides and vaccine.

The session on service delivery for prevention and management of HIV/AIDS will address role of private, NGO and public sectors in HIV service delivery; linked services of HIV with SRH including contraception and tuberculosis programme; and operational research.

The session on HIV/AIDS Epidemiology will address HIV incidence including methods of assay; arriving at HIV estimates; HIV surveillance; impact of STI control on HIV epidemic and impact of increased access to treatment on epidemiological trends.

Socio-behavioral science session will address the challenges in reducing the stigma, male involvement, sexuality and gender, and enhancing the community involvement in control of HIV/AIDS.

CNS is covering this event and do watch for further on-site updates.

Bobby Ramakant - CNS 

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