Population Council researchers will share new research and insights on the latest in the HIV and AIDS epidemic at the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019) in Mexico City, Mexico July 20-24. IAS 2019 is the largest open conference on HIV science in the world.
Population Council researchers led or participated in nearly 20 studies to be presented in Mexico City, on topics such as pregnancy outcomes among HIV-positive women on antiretroviral therapy, strategies to support female sex workers to reduce their HIV risk, effects of integrated programming on HIV outcomes for adolescent girls and young women, factors increasing HIV risk for young men, links between depression and adherence to HIV treatment and reducing stigma in HIV service delivery, among other topics.
Many of the studies to be presented in Mexico City are drawn from the Council’s leadership work under the DREAMS partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women and their male partners in 15 sub-Saharan African countries; Project SOAR, a USAID-funded, Population Council-led initiative to generate critical evidence to improve HIV prevention, care and treatment policies and programs around the world; and Avahan, the India AIDS initiative to reduce HIV transmission and lower the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in vulnerable high-risk populations in India.
Our DREAMS implementation science research is focused on understanding HIV risk for women and girls and their male partners, and how multi-sectoral prevention programming influences that risk. This research is drawing important conclusions about how testing uptake and adherence to HIV treatment can be improved and about how men and boys can be engaged more effectively in the global HIV response. Among the presentations from the Council’s Project SOAR work are several presentations of interim results from research studies in Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
“Our commitment is to conducting focused research studies efficiently, releasing results quickly and working with organizations on the ground to ensure that these findings can be put into practice to improve HIV prevention, treatment, and care,” said Julie Pulerwitz, director of the HIV and AIDS program at the Population Council. “Across our expanding HIV research portfolio, the Council is working to bridge the gap between research and practice and to ensure that science impacts programs and, most importantly, makes a difference in the lives of people in need.”
Among the Population Council studies to be presented at IAS 2019 are:
- Oral presentation – “What is the effect of layered prevention interventions on HIV risk among adolescent girls in Zambia?” (Sanyukta Mathur) Tuesday, 23 July 14:30-16:00
- Poster presentation – “Promising shifts in HIV risk factors and service uptake among young men in Eswatini” (Ann Gottert)
- Poster presentation – “Childhood and adulthood exposure to violence linked to HIV risk behaviors among men in Eswatini” (Julie Pulerwitz)
- Poster presentation – “Shifts in HIV-risk outcomes among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Kenya” (Sanyukta Mathur)
- Oral presentation – “Adverse pregnancy outcomes among HIV-positive women in the era of universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) remain elevated compared with HIV-negative women in Lesotho” Tuesday 23 July; 16:30-18:00
- Poster presentation – “Effect of DREAMS interventions on HIV risk among out-of-school adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) with higher and lower HIV vulnerability: results from Malawi” (Nanlesta Pilgrim)
- Poster presentation – “Depression among HIV-positive female sex workers in Malawi is associated with prior treatment default, experience of violence, and low income” (Brady Burnett-Zieman)
- Poster presentation – “Depressive symptoms and ART adherence among caregivers of vulnerable children in Southern Malawi” (Kathryn Spielman)
- Poster presentation – “Differences in ART provider expectations and client knowledge about viral load testing in northern Namibia: a qualitative assessment” (Brady Burnett-Zieman)
- Poster presentation – “Characteristics and health service utilization of key populations living with HIV in Nigeria recruited through facility-based services versus outreach services” (George Eluwa)
- Poster presentation – “Effects of the Community Responses program on HIV testing and treatment for men and women: Findings from a randomized controlled trial in informal settlements in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa” (Julie Pulerwitz)
- Poster presentation – “Impact of a community-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) delivery program for female sex workers (FSWs) in Tanzania - Results of a quasi-experimental study” (Lung Vu)
- Oral presentation – “Are Community-led Organizations the Drivers for Enhancing Financial Security among Female Sex Workers? Lessons from a Large-Scale HIV Intervention in India” Monday, 22 July, 16:30 – 18:00 (Sangram Kishor Patel)
- Poster presentation – “Role of WhatsApp in empowering female sex workers in India: Learnings from large scale community-based intervention program in India” (Battala Madhusudana)
- Poster presentation – “Redressing violence among female sex workers through crisis response system: Experience from a community-led HIV prevention intervention in India” (Sangram Kishor Patel)
- Poster presentation – “Sustaining safe sex behavior among female sex workers by addressing their vulnerabilities and strengthening community-led organizations in India” (Sangram Patel)
Other Population Council presentations:
- Official pre-meeting: “Men & HIV Forum” (Saturday, 20 July, 08:00 – 17:30), co-organized by Julie Pulerwitz, director of the Population Council’s HIV and AIDS program
- Symposia session – “Stop worrying about the definition and get to work! Implementation science for policy and programme application at scale” (Wednesday, 24 July, 16:30 - 18:00) “Transforming evidence in HIV policies and practice: Lessons from implementation science” (Julie Pulerwitz)
- Satellite session: “Sticky linkage”: Latest evidence and new strategies” (Sunday, 21 July, 08:00 – 10:00) “Community ART starter packs to facilitate timeous initiation in Tanzania” (Lung Vu)
- Satellite session: “Making evidence accessible and usable: Meaningful engagement of communities, programmes, and policymakers in HIV implementation science” Project SOAR/Population Council satellite focused on engaging HIV researchers and stakeholders in stronger collaborations to enhance research utilization. (Sunday, 21 July, 14:45 - 16:45)