Towards an HIV Cure: Canadian <-> Global Stakeholder’s Engagement Workshop
21 July 2015 | Vancouver, Canada

The International AIDS Society (IAS) Towards an HIV Cure initiative, together with our Canadian partners CANFAR, CIHR, CanCURE and CATIE, took the fortuitous opportunity on the occasion of the IAS 2015 Conference, 19 – 22 July 2015, in Vancouver, Canada to encourage community contribution from the diverse Canadian populations invested in HIV cure research.  The Towards an HIV Cure: Canadian <-> Global Stakeholder’s Engagement Workshop took place as a satellite session during IAS 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Canada.

The workshop fostered interactions with global stakeholders to enhance mutual learning and advancement in HIV cure research, building on the parallel collaborations of Canadian scientists also conducted with their global counterparts in line with the scientific priorities outlined in the IAS 2012 Global Scientific Strategy: Towards an HIV Cure.

The HIV epidemic in Canada is distributed among a highly diverse number of specific communities, offering a number of global analogies due to, among others, Canada’s large immigrant population from HIV-endemic countries, diversity among Indigenous peoples, men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM), women in a variety of community settings, injecting drug users, transgender people, hemophiliacs, youth and paediatric populations.  Canadian stakeholder responses historically show collaboration between government, academic and community representatives in all HIV research, which now also extends to HIV cure research.  Researchers and communities are sensitive to the complex social, biological and health conditions that individuals and specific population groups experience in relation to HIV infection, including co-morbidities, marginalization, gender differences and health care settings.

The Towards an HIV Cure: Canadian<-> Global Stakeholder’s Engagement Workshop focused on two specific topics.  The workshop created a fertile ground to share knowledge on engaging and generating advocacy for cure research with specific populations’ histories and approaches in mind, and also provided an opportunity for dialogue regarding the need for biomedical research to acknowledge complex individual health conditions and determinants.

The discussions regarding specific population considerations will contribute towards the community input in the revision of the Global Scientific Strategy: Towards an HIV Cure which will be launched on the occasion of the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa. Canadian and international experts joined to lead the meeting.