HIV Grand Rounds: Highlights from the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban

HIV Grand Rounds from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania will broadcast LIVE.

Thursday, October 6th
12:00 PM EDT

Presenter: Ian Frank, MD 
Professor of Medicine
Director, Clinical Therapeutics Program
Penn Center for AIDS Research

UPenn Location: Smilow Center for Translational Research, 11th floor, Room 146 AB

To register, click here.

Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman Will Develop Mobile Technology to Prevent and Treat HIV in Adolescents

People under the age of 30 account for the majority, or 40 percent, of new HIV infections in the United States. This age group is also more likely than adults to own a smartphone and use this device to download apps and access health information. Recognizing adolescents’ connection with mobile technology, a research team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with colleagues at Emory University, has secured $18 million in funding over the next five years from the National Institutes of Health to form the UNC/Emory Center for Innovative Technology or iTech.

“iTech will facilitate the execution of six research studies. Each study will use technology to address a barrier to the HIV care continuum,” said Lisa Hightow-Weidman, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine and principal investigator of the Behavior and Technology (BAT) Lab at UNC. “For youth at risk of becoming infected with HIV, we will develop apps that aim to increase HIV testing, and use of and adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV. For youth who test positive for the virus, we will develop electronic health interventions to engage them in care and improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy.”

Click here to learn more about Hightown-Weidman’s background in mobile technology and health interventions.

Click here to learn more about iTech, one of three U19 applications funded by the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to support the new Adolescent Medicine Trials Network (ATN).

Updated NIAID CFAR Website

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The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has launched a new CFAR website!

Click here to learn more about The Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) program at the National Institutes of Health, which provides administrative and shared research support to synergistically enhance and coordinate high quality AIDS research projects. More updates and a project map are forthcoming in October updates on the website!

The CFAR program emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, especially between basic and clinical investigators as well as behavioral scientists to support translational research. The CFAR program also encourages training and mentoring of young investigators as well as an inclusion of women and minorities.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: 2016 Inter-CFAR Collaboration on HIV Research in Women Symposium

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Deadline for Abstract Submission: Sunday, October 2, 2016

Conference: December 6 & 7, 2016

Birmingham, AB

The CFAR Joint Symposium on HIV Research in Women is soliciting abstracts for posters and oral presentations from investigators at CFAR-affiliated institutions in each of the below three areas:

  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Microbiome in HIV-Infected Women and its Impact on Health Outcomes
  • The HIV Continuum of Care Across the Lifespan of Women

Priority given to junior and mid-level investigators from doctoral students through assistant professor titles.  Abstracts must be no more than 350 words in length.  Review criteria include overall impact, contribution to the field of HIV in women, and relevance to one or more of the three session topics. Some travel support will be available based on need. There will be no registration fee for this symposium.

The goal of the CFAR Joint Symposium on HIV Research in Women is to identify gaps in knowledge in HIV and women’s research and develop strategies that will move the field forward.

Click here to submit abstracts.

Click here to learn more about the symposium.

Please email Julia Dettinger with questions regarding abstract submission.

2BeatHIV Educates Public About HIV

Our understanding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has come a long way since it was first named in 1986. Yet little of this new information about the virus, which still infects 50,000 new people each year in the United States, seems to have made its way into the general public. A research project out of UNC called 2BeatHIV is trying to change that.

Infection with HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) over time, was once a death sentence. But thanks to three decades of intensive study by researchers all over the world, HIV/AIDS has become a manageable chronic infection. With proper treatment, HIV-positive individuals enjoy a near normal life expectancy and researchers are hopeful that an effective vaccine could be developed in the coming years.

But no one, it seems, has told the general public. Despite landmark study results about treatment as prevention being released in 2011 and 2015 by UNC researchers, 44 percent of Americans believe that anti-HIV medications do not prevent the spread of HIV. The survey, conducted by The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, also found that more than a third of respondents (34 percent) incorrectly thought HIV could be transmitted by sharing a drinking glass, touching a toilet seat or swimming in a pool with someone living with HIV.

This has obvious repercussions for people living with the virus and the stigma that continues to be associated with it. The goal of 2BeatHIV is to get the public informed about HIV and invested in finding a cure for the disease.

The project, which is nested within UNC’s searcHIV working group, is headed up by Allison Mathews, PhD, a post-doc with a dual appointment in both the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases and the Department of Social Medicine.

Read more here…

 

UNC bioethicist addresses lack of HIV studies in pregnant women

UNC School of Medicine’s Anne Lyerly is addressing the urgent need for effective HIV prevention and treatment for the estimated 1.5 million women worldwide with HIV who give birth each year. With a $3 million NIH grant, Dr. Lyerly is leading an interdisciplinary team of researchers to determine what barriers prevent investigators from studying the virus in pregnant women.

Lyerly, associate director of the UNC Center for Bioethics and associate professor of social medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, is also an obstetrician/gynecologist who studies ethically complex clinical and policy issues related to women’s reproductive health.

In the August issue of the Journal of the International AIDS Society, Lyerly addresses the lack of research of HIV-positive pregnant women and pregnant women who are at risk of contracting HIV, which has “led to a dearth of evidence to guide safe and effective treatment and prevention of HIV in pregnancy,” Lyerly wrote.

In the research on the HIV-positive pregnant women that has been done, most outcomes focus entirely on the health of the fetus. Pregnant women are excluded from the vast majority of studies, including studies on how to best prevent HIV.

Read more here…

UNC NC TraCS Institute Spring Research Open House

tracs2015 Spring Research Open House for the UNC NC TraCS Institute

April 29, 2015
2:00 pm – 4:30pm
Brinkhous-Bullitt, Room 219, UNC – Chapel Hill Campus

Agenda:

-2pm to 2:30pm, Brinkhous-Bullitt, Room 219
Andy Johns, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at UNC will present REACH NC, the web portal that enables users to search, browse and find collaborators at UNC and throughout North Carolina.

-2:30pm to 3pm, Brinkhous-Bullitt, Room 219
David Carroll, PhD, Director Research Funding Development of NC TraCS will give a presentation; “Making Your Grant User-Friendly: Do’s and Don’t’s”

-3:00pm to 4:30pm, Brinkhous-Bullitt, main suite
Meet NC TraCS Faculty and staff experts at one of our 19 service/resource/initiative poster boards to find out what we offer and for you to ask us questions.

CUREiculum Webinar Series: Latency Reversing Agents

The CUREiculum is a suite of tools that provides simple, accessible information on HIV cure research. As part of the effort to increase research literacy around cure, the CUREiculum team, a collaboration of community educators, researchers and advocacy organizations, will be presenting a webinar series that focus on issue-specific topics crucial to understanding the research landscape.

Latency Reversing Agents
Thursday March 26th, 4 pm ET

This webinar will feature Dr. David Margolis, Principal Investigator of the CARE Collaboratory at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dr. Sharon Lewin member of the DARE Collaboratory and Director of the Infectious Disease department at Monash University. Latency reversing agents are biological compounds used to “wake up” HIV infected cells from their resting state in the body. The drugs are used as the “kick”, the first in a two phase strategy often called “kick and kill”. Both researchers will discuss what latency reversing agents are and how the research might contribute to a combination curative strategy.

Register here for webinar details!

For more information, please contact Jessica or Karine.

2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic InfectionsCROI

February 23 to February 26, 2015
Washington State Convention Center
Seattle, Washington

The annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) brings together top basic, translational, and clinical researchers from around the world to share the latest studies, important developments, and best research methods in the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS and related infectious diseases. CROI is a global model of collaborative science and the premier international venue for bridging basic and clinical investigation into clinical practice in the field of HIV and related viruses.

Abstract submission and registration dates can be found here.