Episode 12 - Recent research promotion, policy and membership achievements
The Industry Liaison Forum (ILF) has continued and expanded its role as a convener of private-public health partnerships. In 2013 it held advisory meetings and organized many forums at both IAS 2013 and at other external meetings to bring together experts to discuss pertinent issues. This includes the Sex and Gender Differences in ARV-Based Prevention Research” affiliated event at CROI. At IAS 2013, the ILF organized jointly with AVAC, a satellite session entitled “Expanding HIV Prevention Option for Women” and with UNICEF, a satellite session Beyond Option B+.
The ILF also organized a roundtable meeting in Geneva with paediatric ARV manufacturers and other stakeholders (DNDi, MSF, MPP, UNAIDS, WHO, etc.), directly following the WHO manufacturers and stakeholders’ meeting on ARV forecast and demand. The main objective was to identify ways to allow more engagement of industry as global partners, while informing the different stakeholders about on-going projects addressing challenges specific to paediatric ARVs.
In 2013 the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) published 60 new scientific articles by the end of October and 3 special issues in 2013: “Perinatally HIV-infected adolescents”, “Global action to reduce HIV stigma and discrimination” and “Epidemiology and prevention needs of men who have sex with men in Africa” and one abstract supplement: “HIV drug therapy in the Americas”. JIAS’s role goes beyond just a scientific journal and it also organized the IAS 2013 abstract mentor programme and a scientific writing workshop at IAS 2013.
The CIPHER (The Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research) grant programme at IAS 2013 announced US$1 million awarded to 7 early-career stage researchers for priority research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). CIPHER also convened paediatric cohort investigators to identify collaboration opportunities and support cohort collaboration. From this an online database was developed with information on paediatric HIV cohorts to facilitate linkages, sharing of information and cooperation.
The IAS continued its grant programme and awarded the following grants in 2013: four fellowships in the HIV and Drug Use Research Fellowship Programme, 11 grantees for the Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research (CNIHR) Grant Programme and four abstracts for the IAS/ANRS Young Investigator Award and one abstract each for the Women, Girls and HIV Investigator’s Prize and IAS TB/HIV Research Prize.
Policy and Advocacy
In 2013 IAS’s Policy and Advocacy work focused of the six Strategic Priorities:- Key Affected Populations (KAPs)
; HIV and Human Rights
; Social and Political Research
; Towards an HIV Cure
; Effectiveness and Efficiency of National AIDS Programmes (E2)
and Treatment as Prevention (TasP).
The tasks were carried out under the guidance and global expertise of five Advisory Groups and nine Working Groups. The work included:
- Country/ Regional Consultations: 5 Country consultations conducted in France, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia. One Regional Consultation for Francophone Africa consultation held in Senegal. The Priorities concerned were TasP and E2.
- IAS 2013, Kuala Lumpur:
Held 4 Pre – Conferences, 1 High Level Meeting and 2 Satellites. The Priorities concerned were- KAPs, HIV Cure, TasP and Social and Political Research.
- Specialized Consultation: Think-Tank meeting, Paris (HIV Cure) and White Paper on ”Maximizing the treatment and prevention benefits of ART for Key Affected Populations” London (KAPs & TasP)
- Regional Conferences:
2 Pre- Conference (KAPs, Social & Political Research), 3 Satellites/ Special sessions (TasP, Human Rights, Social & Political Research), 2 High Level Meeting (KAPs) and 3 contributions in special sessions (TasP)
- Publications: Numerous articles (in peer reviewed journals, magazines, IAS Newsletters) statements, press releases, fact-sheets and blogs.
- Regional assistance: Assisted in the expansion of the Virtual Knowledge Centre (VKC) and in the creation of the Eurasian Professional Association of Addiction Medicine (EPAAM)
All the work the IAS does is underpinned by the foundation of its membership and the guidance of the Governing Council. Membership continues to grow and the IAS continues to increase its outreach and improve current member benefits.
At IAS 2013 members could interact with IAS staff and Governing Council members at the IAS booth and were also invited to the IAS Members’ Meeting. The IAS has expanded its presence at other conferences in 2013 reaching out to even more HIV professionals at Harm Reduction 2013, USCA, EACS, ICAAP and ICASA. IAS members also participate in committees, advisory boards, working groups, webinars and in country consultations.
The Governing Council is elected by the IAS members and they provide oversight of the secretariat and ensure clarity of mission and achievement of organizational objectives. The next IAS Governing Council Elections are due to take place in 2016.