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June 1, 2011

Dear Advocate,

This update includes information on key biomedical HIV prevention research-related events at the upcoming fifth South African AIDS Conference (June 7-10, 2011 at the International Conference Center in Durban) and highlights some events organized by AVAC and its partners at the conference.

SA AIDS is a biannual meeting, and this one comes as South Africa develops its next five-year HIV and AIDS, TB and STI National Strategic Plan. This year’s conference theme is Leadership, Delivery and Accountability.

The conference will provide a critical venue to discuss the national and regional implications of recent research results, such as the HPTN 052 trial that showed earlier ART initiation can reduce risk of sexual transmission, as well as the CAPRISA 004 microbicide trial of 1% tenofovir gel, and the iPrEx PrEP trial of oral TDF/FTC in gay men and transgender women. Both CAPRISA 004 and iPrEx were conducted in South Africa, and both showed evidence of benefit.

If you are going to be in Durban, we hope that you will join us at a conference satellite session co-sponsored by AVAC and the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WrHI), The Promise and Perils of ARV-Based Prevention: Are we building or burning bridges?, taking place on Wednesday, June 8, 1800-2000 in Hall 2 of the conference venue, the ICC. For more information on the event, including a list of speakers, please click here.

We also welcome conference attendees to attend a skills building session, Bridging the gap between scientific breakthroughs and human rights barriers: What the iPrEx results mean for MSM in South Africa and beyond, on Thursday, June 9 at 1600-1730 in meeting room 12C of the ICC. This session is coordinated by Brian Kanyemba, a 2011 AVAC HIV Prevention Research Advocacy Fellow hosted at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.

If you are interested in learning more about AVAC’s Advocacy Fellowship Program, or want to discuss an application in progress, please come to an informal discussion with AVAC’s Stacey Hannah and past and current Fellows, on Thursday, June 9 at 1300. The venue for this session will be posted at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative Booth (IAVI) in the Conference exhibition hall. The IAVI booth will also have AVAC materials.

There will be many other sessions related to HIV prevention research throughout the conference. Highlights are listed below, and a complete program can be viewed here.

Highlights include:

  • Satellite: Implementation of Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) at High Volume Sites in South Africa - Tuesday June 7, 900-1300, Hall 8
  • Community Exchange: Community Participation in Research – Wednesday June 8, 1600-1730, Hall 4
  • Oral presentations: Combination Prevention: Biomedical Approaches - Wednesday June 8, 1600, Hall 1
  • Photo Exhibition: Hope for Choice – A Day in the Life – Co-hosts Global Campaign for Microbicides and International Partnership for Microbicides – Wednesday June 8, 1700-1800, Hilton Durban Hotel Ballroom
  • Satellite: The Promise and Perils of ARV-Based Prevention: Are we building or burning bridges? - Co-hosts WrHI & AVAC – Wednesday June 8, 1800-2000, Hall 2
  • Combination Prevention: Social and Behavioural Change Communication - Thursday June 9, 1130-1300, Hall 1
  • Advocacy Fellows Information Session - Thursday June 9 1300 (please look for flyers for venue information)
  • Skills-building: Bridging the gap between scientific breakthroughs and human rights barriers: What the iPrEx results mean for MSM in South Africa and beyond - Thursday June 9, 1600-1730, Meeting room 12C
  • Knowledge Sharing: Breakfast Meeting - Medical Male Circumcision: A Dialogue on Developments and Perspectives, Friday June 10, 730-845, Hall 3
  • Plenary Session 4 - The Challenge of HIV Prevention for the Future National Strategic Plan: Prof Helen Rees, Friday June 10, 900-100, Hall 1
  • AVAC materials at the IAVI booth in exhibition area

You can also follow the conference on And stay tuned for a post-conference update from AVAC.

We look forward to seeing many of you in Durban, please stop by to say hello!


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