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HIV prevention in the spotlight as HIVR4P 2018 opens in Madrid

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More than 1,400 researchers, polpolicymakersd advocates gather at the Madrid Marriott Auditorium, Spain 21-25 October as HIV Research for Prevention  (HIVR4P2018), the only global scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to biomedical HIV prevention, is held in Europe for the first time.

Across a five-day conference program, HIVR4P looks not only at scientific advances, but also at the obstacles to developing safe, long-acting and user-friendly forms of HIV prevention, and at strategies to address the barriers to making effective prevention available to all. The global conference features more than 1,000 scientific presentations, including oral and poster abstract sessions, plenaries by the world’s leading HIV prevention researchers, symposia, workshops, satellites, meet-the-expert sessions and more.

“HIVR4P takes place at an unprecedented moment in HIV prevention,” said conference co-chair Georgia Tomaras of Duke University. “Extraordinary progress in prevention research has expanded our opportunities to control and ultimately stop this epidemic. The vibrancy of this field is demonstrated by the fact that research submissions to HIVR4P 2018 were up 20% over the previous HIVR4P conference.”

The conference comes against the background of more than 35 million people deaths of HIV-related illnesses, and another 37 million people now live with HIV worldwide.

Yet today, a new generation of HIV prevention tools in development offer the greatest promise yet of significantly slowing the global toll of HIV and AIDS.

The latest research in every form of biomedical HIV prevention, including vaccines, rings, microbicides and other female-controlled forms of prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and long-acting delivery systems, will be explored at HIVR4P 2018.

“As prevention science advances, however, the challenges of maintaining the political will and funding to support a global movement to end AIDS come into even sharper focus. These policy, funding and advocacy issues will also be an important part of HIVR4P 2018.”

“HIVR4P is part of a global movement to build the alliances and exchanges, across disciplines and countries, that can bring us closer to a world without AIDS,” said conference co-chair Jose Alcamí of Madrid’s Instituto de Salud Carlos III. “We are especially proud that Spain will host the first HIVR4P conference held in Europe.”

“Spain’s longstanding commitment to combatting this epidemic includes world-class research, support for domestic and international efforts to ensure HIV treatment and prevention for all, and a commitment the wellbeing, dignity and human rights of all people affected by HIV. At the same time, several challenges remain in the fight against HIV in Spain, such as PrEP implementation. The celebration of HIVR4P in Madrid is an opportunity to draw attention to those needs as well.”

Also on the conference program is the presentation of the 2018 Desmond Tutu Award for HIV Prevention Research and Human Rights and research awards and scholarships for outstanding HIV prevention science. More than 300 early-career HIV prevention researchers and advocates from low- and middle-income countries will attend HIVR4P 2018 on scholarship.

 

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