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Promising developments in vaccine research, development of a vaginal gel and PrEP lead to calls for a combination of biomedical and non biomedical approaches to HIV prevention policy
Date:7/18/2011

Monday, 18 July, 2011 (Rome, Italy) - Researchers speaking in the first plenary session of the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011) have today offered insights into current and future HIV prevention research and discussed how biomedical developments over the past two years are beginning to shape debate on the future of HIV prevention policy.

The presentations reflect the breadth of expertise among the more than 5,000 researchers, clinicians and community leaders attending the conference, which runs from 17-20 July in Rome.

"We appear to be at a watershed in terms of HIV/AIDS science," said IAS 2011 International Chair and International AIDS Society President, Elly Katabira. "It is a sign of how far the HIV/AIDS community has come in three decades that we are now beginning to discuss how to best combine traditional ways of preventing HIV such as condoms, needle exchange and testing with biomedical approaches such as a vaginal gel, early antiretroviral treatment and PrEP."

"The developments in biomedical science over the past few years are very encouraging but at the same time only reinforce the need to maintain a robust HIV/AIDS research agenda," said Stefano Vella, IAS 2011 Local Co-Chair and Research Director at the Istituto Superiore di Sanit (ISS).

The Changing Face of HIV Vaccine Research

In his plenary remarks, Gary Nabel, (United States) Director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said that despite the fact that an AIDS vaccine posed an exceptional research challenge, and progress had been slow, two recent developments have renewed optimism for the prospects of a vaccine.

Firstly, though efficacy was modest, the RV144 efficacy trial conducted in Thailand provided a proof of concept that a vaccine can prevent HIV infection in humans. The fact that a vaccine can prevent infection rather than s
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Contact: Lindsey Rodger
lindsey.rodger@iasociety.org

Source:Eurekalert

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