Press Releases

Population Council Presents New Research on Tools to Prevent HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Unintended Pregnancy at HIV Research for Prevention (HIV R4P)

The Population Council will present new research on novel approaches to HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancy prevention at the HIV Research for Prevention Conference (HIV R4P) in Cape Town, South Africa. HIV R4P, which runs 28–31 October, is the first global scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to research on biomedical HIV prevention.

Presentations by Council researchers include advances in the development of a microbicide/contraceptive intravaginal ring (IVR) to protect against HIV, HPV, herpes (HSV-2), and unintended pregnancy (oral abstract session 3, 28 October, 11:00 am–12:30 pm); the first-in-human safety and pharmacokinetics study of the Council’s ARV-based microbicide gel, PC-1005 (poster session, 29 October, 10:00–11:00 am and 5:00–6:30 pm); and the activity of the non-ARV microbicide griffithsin against HSV-2 and human papillomavirus (HPV) (poster session, 30 October, 10:00–11:00 am and 5:00–6:30 pm).

Other Council studies on the HIV R4P agenda include new research on the connection between bacterial vaginosis and HSV-2 susceptibility (oral abstract session 10, 28 October, 1:30–3:00 pm); studies on the factors affecting the uptake of HIV counseling and testing among young people (poster session, 29 October, 10:00–11:00 am and 5:00–6:30 pm); and research on the links between counseling and testing and sexual risk behaviors (poster session, 29 October, 10:00–11:00 am and 5:00–6:30 pm).

Council scientists are also advancing global research on multi-purpose prevention technologies (MPTs), new tools in development that are designed to protect against HIV, STIs, and/or unintended pregnancy with a single product. The Council will co-chair a conference roundtable on the topic (31 October, 8:30–10:00 am), and will co-sponsor a satellite session at HIV R4P addressing the promise of MPTs in combination HIV and STI protection (31 October, 1:30–3:30 pm).

“HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancy are global health crises that together affect hundreds of millions of women and men worldwide,” said Naomi Rutenberg, Population Council vice president and director of the Council’s HIV and AIDS program, and co-chair of the MPT roundtable on MPTs on 31 October at 8:30 am. “Council researchers are working on new approaches to these critical sexual health challenges that are safe, effective, easier to use, and responsive to the needs and life circumstances of the people they are designed to help.”

“Sexually active people are often at simultaneous risk for HIV, STIs that can increase their risk of HIV, and unintended pregnancy,” noted Tom Zydowsky, who leads the Council’s pharmaceutical development program in HIV and AIDS. “The Council’s work to advance MPTs is based in our belief that better and more convenient options are needed to slow these interconnected global epidemics and help women and men to lead healthier lives.”

Presentations by Council researchers at HIV R4P are listed below:


>> Oral Sessions

  • A novel intravaginal ring (IVR) protects macaques against SHIV-RT infection and reduces HSV-2 shedding after repeated SHIV-RT/HSV-2 co-challenge 
    11:00 am–12:30 pm, Auditorium 2
    Presenter: Thomas M. Zydowsky
  • HSV-2-driven changes in α4β7 expression correlate with increased susceptibility to SHIV ex vivo and in vivo
    1:30–3:00 pm, Roof Terrace Room
    Presenter: Elena Martinelli

>> Poster Sessions

  • Socio-demographic factors associated with uptake of HIV counseling and testing (HCT) among Nigerian youth
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm, Hall 2
    Presenter: Ayodeji Oginni
  • Does HIV counseling and testing change sexual risk behaviors? Findings from a community health center (CHC) in North Central Nigeria
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm. Hall 2
    Presenter: Ibrahim Suleiman
  • ARV-based prevention for women: New data on HIV testing behaviors from potential users of vaginal microbicides in Mpumalanga, South Africa
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm, Hall 2
    Presenter: Martha Brady
  • Are Nigerian healthcare providers (HCP) prepared for men who have sex with men (MSM): Lessons from the mystery client survey in Nigeria
    The anti-same sex marriage law implications on HIV interventions for men who have sex with men in Nigeria
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm, Hall 2
    Presenter: Chiedu Ifekandu
  • MZC and 1% TFV gel: Multipurpose prevention approaches
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm, Hall 2
    Presenter: José Fernández-Romero
  • First-in-human safety and pharmacokinetics (PK) of a MIV-150/zinc acetate/carrageenan gel (PC-1005)
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm, Hall 2
    Presenter: George W. Creasy

>> Poster Sessions

  • Antiviral activity and mode of action of griffithsin against HSV-2 and HPV: Preliminary studies of a potential non-ARV combination microbicide
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm, Hall 2
    Presenter: José Fernández-Romero
  • Reporting of adherence in the VOICE trial: Does disclosure of product non-use increase at the termination visit?
    Reporting of challenges to adherence in VOICE: A comparison of quantitative and qualitative self-reports among women during and after the trial
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm, Hall 2
    Presenter: Barbara Mensch
  • Patterns of drug use among people who inject drugs (PWID) and their implications for sexually transmitted infections in northern Nigeria
    10:00–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm, Hall 2
    Presenter: Desmond Iriaye

>> Roundtable

  • Multipurpose Technologies
    8:30–10:00 am, Meeting Room 1.60
    Co-chairs: Naomi Rutenberg, Population Council; Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, WHO
    ​Panel: Judy Manning, Joseph Romano, Charu Mullick, Elizabeth Brown, and Elizabeth Bukusi

>> Satellite Session

  • Multi-Purpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs): The Future of HIV and STI Protection?
    1:30–3:30 pm, Meeting Room 1.61
    Co-chairs: José Fernández-Romero, Population Council; Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, WHO
    Panel: Carolyn Deal, Betsy Herold, Dorothy Patton, Joe Romano, John Schiller, Tom Zydowsky

About the Population Council

The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.

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