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HIV prevention research focus of International Microbicides Conference May 22-25
Date:4/14/2010

PITTSBURGH, April 14 HIV prevention researchers, policy makers and community advocates from more than 35 countries will be in Pittsburgh, May 22-25 to attend the 2010 International Microbicides Conference (M2010).

Unlike previous meetings, M2010 will encompass a broader spectrum of HIV prevention research and related topics, hence the theme Building Bridges in HIV Prevention. In addition to discussing the latest research on microbicides substances designed to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV when applied topically on the inside of the rectum or vagina M2010 will also be a forum for discussions on male circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis and vaccines.

The size of the meeting, with about 1,000 participants, will afford media easy access to the field's leading investigators and newsmakers in global health, basic science, behavioral science and clinical trials research. Many of the meeting's participants are working on the front lines of the epidemic in parts of the world hardest hit by HIV and AIDS.

The scientific program includes six invited plenary and state-of-the-art lectures, nine cross-cutting symposia on emerging issues and trends in HIV prevention and more than 500 oral and poster abstract presentations reporting on original research. Among the findings to be presented and topics to be covered at M2010 are:

  • Results of the first clinical trial to evaluate the safety of a vaginal microbicide in pregnant women and findings from a large prospective study in seven African countries looking at whether pregnancy can increase the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV.

  • Results of studies looking at the behavioral and biological factors that may help explain why HIV rates are so high among men and women who engage in unprotected receptive anal intercourse. These include studies looking at the effects of different over-the-counter lubricants on HIV risk and research focused on the development of rectal microbicides.

  • New research aimed at expanding the pipeline of antiretrovirals (ARVs) for prevention, including results of the first primate study evaluating an integrase inhibitor as a topical microbicide. ARVs are drugs used in the treatment of HIV, and ARV-based prevention approaches are being tested in several ongoing clinical trials, with results of completed trials expected in the coming months. One concern is that these studies all involve the same drug. The challenges and promise of ARV-based strategies are key issues to be discussed.

All sessions will take place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. A staffed press room will be available on site and media briefings will be held each day, with some available by teleconference. Information about media registration is available at http://www.microbicides2010.org/general-media-information. The scientific program will be posted later this week at www.microbicides2010.org To receive e-mail updates and news releases or to request abstracts or additional details about the meeting, please contact Lisa Rossi at rossil@upmc.edu or +1-412-916-3315.

M2010 is the sixth biennial meeting of the International Microbicides Conference and marks the first meeting in the United States since the 2000 inaugural gathering in Washington, D.C. Other previous meetings have been in Antwerp, Belgium; London, England; Cape Town, South Africa; and New Delhi, India. Co-chairs of this year's conference are Sharon Hillier, Ph.D., and Ian McGowan, M.D., Ph.D., both of the University of Pittsburgh; and Gita Ramjee, Ph.D., of the Medical Research Council of South Africa.

More than 33 million people are living with HIV, more than two thirds of them in sub-Saharan Africa, according to UNAIDS. The number of new infections continues to outstrip advances in treatment: For every two people who begin treatment, five are newly infected. Globally, women account for half of all HIV infections, and in sub-Saharan Africa, women comprise 60 percent of all infected adults. Young women are especially vulnerable. In southern Africa women aged 15 to 24 are at least three times more likely than their male peers to be infected with HIV. Meanwhile, men who have sex with men (MSM) bear the burden of the epidemic in the United States and in other parts of the world, such as Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MSM of all races is the only risk group in the United States in which new HIV infections are increasing. Black heterosexual women represent the third highest risk group in the United States, after white MSM and black MSM, respectively.


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Contact: Lisa Rossi
rossil@upmc.edu
412-916-3315
Microbicides 2010 (International Conference on Microbicides)
Source:Eurekalert

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