|UNC research to be featured at world’s largest AIDS conference next week|
|July 20, 2012|
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is home to one of the most highly ranked HIV/AIDS programs in the country, with dozens of researchers across campus working toward new prevention strategies, reducing stigma, and finding a cure in the global fight against AIDS. Their expertise and wide-ranging findings will be showcased at the XIX International AIDS Conference, to be held July 22-27 in Washington, D.C.
The conference, themed "Turning the Tide Together," will attract delegates from nearly 200 countries, including 20,000 to 25,000 scientists, policy makers, and others committed to ending one of the greatest infectious disease challenges of this century.
Among the presentations will be a report on new data from the landmark HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 study, which examines HIV treatment as prevention strategy. The study, chaired by Myron Cohen, MD, was named the 2011 "Breakthrough of the Year" by the journal Science.
Cohen is J. Herbert Bate Distinguished Professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology in the UNC School of Medicine and of epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He is also director of the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases.
"The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a complex problem that requires multipronged, multidisciplinary solutions," said Charles van der Horst, MD, professor of medicine and director of the infectious disease fellowship program in the UNC School of Medicine. "UNC faculty and students from across the campus have once again stepped up to the challenge. With more than 100 abstracts, they are presenting the results of research studies and implementation of new care models in a plethora of papers on all aspects of the AIDS pandemic."
In the 31 years since the first AIDS patient was admitted to UNC Hospitals, the University has been involved in battling the epidemic, building a robust and diverse research and clinical care program that reaches across North Carolina and around the world. The research being presented at the upcoming conference was conducted in more than 10 countries, including the Dominican Republic, China, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.
Van der Horst has been at UNC since the early days of the epidemic. In Washington, he will present ongoing clinical findings of a five-year study on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, also known as the BAN Study.
Anna Cope, doctoral student in epidemiology in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, will present on high-risk sexual behavior in people diagnosed with acute HIV. Sudanshu Handa, PhD, professor and chair of public policy in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences, will present an oral abstract on the effects of a cash transfer program on HIV risk behavior in Kenya. David Wohl, MD, associate professor of medicine, will participate in a satellite session on HIV in the corrections system.
This year marks the first time in 22 years that the conference has been held in the United States, van der Horst said. The International AIDS Society voted to hold the conference in the United States after President Barack Obama lifted entry restrictions on people infected with HIV in January 2010.
"The return of the International AIDS Conference to the U.S. is a historic occasion, a time for celebration of achievements made, and reflection on the hurdles that remain," van der Horst said. "We should all be proud."
The complete list of UNC abstracts and the full conference program are available online.
|Last updated July 20, 2012|