Press Releases

Population Council to Present New Research on Key Populations at International AIDS Conference

Findings Will Highlight Risk Factors, Strategies to Improve Service Delivery for Men Who Have Sex with Men, People Who Inject Drugs, and Women

NEW YORK (15 July 2014) — The Population Council will present new research on HIV and key populations at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS2014) in Melbourne, Australia, 20–25 July 2014.

Oral presentations will focus on the HIV risk behaviors of men who have sex with men, the scale-up and sustainability of community-led HIV responses developed for key affected populations, and promoting gender equity among women. 

"The International AIDS Conference comes at a critical time. While we have made great progress against HIV, new challenges are emerging. Recent anti-LGBT legislation in Nigeria and Uganda will make it even harder to reach the most at-risk populations,” said Naomi Rutenberg, vice president and director of the Population Council’s HIV and AIDS program. “In a region where more than two-thirds of all new HIV infections occur, these laws contravene public health and human rights. Our priority is to ensure that HIV prevention, care, and treatment services are available to the most vulnerable populations, including men who have sex with men. This conference gives us the opportunity to discuss the research that will shape how we do that, even in difficult environments.”

Men who have sex with men remain one of the populations most vulnerable to HIV infection worldwide. Council research presented at AIDS2014 will describe the use of social network sites by men who have sex with men in Nigeria to seek sexual partners and liaisons that may increase their vulnerability to HIV during an oral session on Thursday, 24 July, 16:30–18:00 (4:30–6:00 pm). Transgender persons’ experiences with stigma and violence will be discussed in a poster exhibition on Tuesday, 22 July, 12:30–14:30 (12:30–2:30 pm), Exhibition Hall, ground level. The principal investigator for the latter study will be available for a one-on-one meet-the-researcher session at the Population Council Booth (#303) on Wednesday, 23 July.

Council researchers from India will present evidence and challenges related to transforming informal HIV groups that work with high-risk populations into independent, sustainable, formally registered community-based organizations during an oral session on Monday, 21 July, 16:30–18:00 (4:30–6:00 pm), Plenary 3. Additional research from India will highlight approaches to changing gender norms that contribute to women’s risk of HIV infection during an oral session on Thursday, 24 July, 11:00–12:30, Melbourne 1.

The Council will also lead a skills-building workshop focused on conducting operations research for gender-based violence programs on Tuesday, 22 July, 14:30–17:30 (2:30–5:30 pm), Room 111–112.

Select presentations by the Council are included below. A full list of Council presentations can be found here.

Monday, 21 July

>> Oral Session

  • Community-led Responses to HIV, Scale-up, and Sustainability, 16:30–18:00, Plenary 3
    Presenter: Akash Porwal, Assistant Program Officer

>> Booth Event (#303)

  • Meet the Researcher, 12:45–13:45
    Julie Pulerwitz, Director of Social and Operations Research
    Successful Male Engagement Strategies in HIV Prevention: Lessons Learned From the Arise Program
Tuesday, 22 July

>> Poster Presentation

  • Transgender Persons’ Experiences with Stigma and Violence: A Qualitative Exploration in India, 12:30–14:30, Exhibition Hall, ground level
    Deepika Ganju, Senior Program Officer

>> Skills-building Workshops

  • Assessing Quality of Population Size Estimates of People Who Inject Drugs, 11:00–12:30, Room 105–106
    Facilitators: Riku Lehtovuori, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; David Wilson, World Bank; Waimar Tun, Population Council (Associate)
  • Implementing Operations Research on Gender-based Violence Programs: Successful Strategies and Common Pitfalls, 14:30–17:30, Room 111–112
    Facilitators: Julie Pulerwitz, Population Council; Niranjan Saggurti, Population Council (Associate); and Elizabeth King, PATH

>> Satellite Session

  • New Technologies Improve Efficiency in Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision and Early Infant Male Circumcision Scale up, 18:30–20:30, Melbourne Room 1
    Population Services International, FHI360, and Population Council

>> Booth Event (#303)

  • Meet the Researcher, 12:45–13:45
    Waimar Tun and Avina Sarna, Country Director, India
    High HIV Incidence in Male Injection Drug Users Despite Harm Reduction Efforts in Delhi, India
  • Meet the Researcher, 14:15–15:15
    Jerry Okal, Associate
    HIV Testing: Novel Ways of Reaching People at Risk and Getting Results
Wednesday, 23 July

>> Poster Presentation

  • Non-injection Drug Use and HIV Risk: An Exploratory Study with Female Drug Users in Delhi, India, 12:30–14:30, Exhibition Hall, ground level
    Avina Sarna and Waimar Tun

>> Booth Event (#303)

  • Meet the Researcher, 12:45–13:45
    Niranjan Saggurti, Associate
    Knowledge Network Project: Documenting and Disseminating Lessons from Avahan, the India AIDS Initiative
  • Meet the Researcher, 14:15–15:15
    Deepika Ganju
    Transgender Persons’ Experiences with Stigma and Violence: A Qualitative Exploration in India
Thursday, 24 July

>> Oral Sessions

  • Structural and Gender-based Prevention Approaches, 11:00–12:30, Melbourne 1
    Presenter: Purnima Mehrotra, Senior Program Officer
  • Gay and Other MSM: Prevention Within an Accelerating Epidemic, 14:30–16:00
    Presenter: Ibrahim Suleiman, Program Officer
  • Sexuality and HIV Risk Among Gay Men: Options and Choices, 16:30–18:00
    Presenter: Chiedu Ifekandu, Program Officer

>> Poster Presentation

  • Experience of HIV-positive Persons with Disabilities in Accessing and Obtaining HIV Services in Uganda, Zambia, and Ghana, 12:30–14:30, Exhibition Hall, ground level
    Waimar Tun

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.

# # #

Media contact
Sherry Hutchinson,, +1 703 508 0057