In a Press release date May 9, the International Aids Society announced that Dr Steve Deeks, HIV cure specialist will be the keynote speaker at the opening session.
Wednesday, 8 May 2013 (Geneva, Switzerland) – Strategies for pursuing an HIV cure, the impact of starting antiretroviral therapy at higher CD4 counts and innovative models for HIV testing and care feature heavily in the IAS 2013 programme announced today.
“Functional cures” and the benefits of early antiretroviral therapeutic treatment have attracted international headlines this year and the IAS 20I3 conference, the world´s leading open HIV scientific forum, will provide researchers with an opportunity to both take stock of the year´s developments and consider new ground-breaking studies, confirming that a revolution in HIV science is gathering momentum.
Steve Deeks will open the conference on Sunday evening together with eminent speakers from the Malaysian government. Deeks will outline his latest work looking at HIV as an inflammatory disease, describing how inflammation affects health during antiretroviral treatment and how this process might affect cure studies.
Deborah Persaud, lead researcher on the “Mississippi Baby” study will participate in a pediatric symposium and will emphasize on the potential for curing newborn children with HIV infection by following the strategy used with this baby – providing standard antiretroviral therapy within the first days of life while HIV infection is still being confirmed. The case suggests that very early treatment may prevent establishment of latent HIV infection, which is an obstacle to curing people with chronic HIV infection.
Laurent Hocqueloux, one of the doctors entrusted with the care of the so called VISCONTI Cohort of 14 patients (Sáez-Cirión A, et al. PLoS Pathogens. 2013; 9:e1003211), will present another study of 283 people starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) during chronic infection at various CD4 count levels.
Treatment as Prevention – Impact of starting antiretroviral therapy at higher CD4 counts
Two years ago the IAS 2011 conference made headlines with researchers announcing that the HPTN 052 trial determined that starting early antiretroviral therapy (ART), regardless of CD4 count, rather than waiting for the CD4 count to fall to 250 lowered the risk of HIV transmission in HIV-discordant couples by 96% (Cohen MJ, et al. N Engl J Med.2011; 365:493-505).Treatment as Prevention (TasP) was formally born. Over the past two years there has been considerable research undertaken on the benefits of early antiretroviral therapeutic treatment in addition to the implementation aspects of TasP. Key studies to be presented in the field include:
The epidemiological impact and cost-effectiveness of expanded eligibility for and access to adult antiretroviral therapy in South Africa, Zambia, India, and Vietnam: a twelve model analysis (J.W. Eaton; July1)
· Early antiretroviral therapy, sexual behaviors and HIV-1 transmission risk: estimates from the Temprano-ANRS 12136 Randomized Controlled Trial (Abidjan, Côte d´Ivoire) (K. Jean; July1)
HIV cure strategies
Presentation to be delivered by Deborah Persaud (July 3)
Impact of 12 months HAART on cell-associated HIV-DNA in acute primary HIV-1 infection in the OPTIPRIM-ANRS 147 trial (A. Chéret; July 3)
In chronically HIV-1-infected patients long-term antiretroviral therapy initiated above 500 CD4/mm3 achieves better HIV-1 reservoirs’ depletion and T cell count restoration (L.Hocqueloux; July 3)
Innovative models for HIV care
· Effects of antenatal care-HIV service integration on utilization of prevention of mother-to-child transmission services, and mother-to-child HIV transmission: results from a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Kenya (C.R. Cohen, July 1)
· Home visits during antenatal care enhances male partner HIV-1 counseling and testing during pregnancy in Kenya: a randomized controlled trial (A. Osoti; July 2)
· Outcomes of national expansion program for antiretroviral treatment to rural health centre level through mobile HIV services in Zambia (A. Mwango; July 2)
· Community antiretroviral therapy (ART) delivery models for high patient’s retention and sustaining good adherence: The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) operational research findings, CDC/PEPFAR funded project in Uganda (D. Mpiima; July 2).
Innovative models for HIV testing
Client-centered HIV testing and counseling as a strategy for scaling up access to HIV prevention and care services (F. Odhiambo; July1)
Home visits during antenatal care enhances male partner HIV-1 counseling and testing during pregnancy in Kenya: a randomized controlled trial (A. Osoti; July 2)
Use of modest financial incentives to improve engagement of drug users in HIV testing and follow-up: results of a randomized controlled trial (M. Hull; July 2)
The IAS 2013 Programme is now available online at www.ias2013.org. Late breaker abstracts will be announced mid-May and will be added to the online programme accordingly.