July 30, 2020
Earlier this month, the first ever virtual International AIDS Conference played out over the course of a week. Out of it came both exciting news (injectable PrEP works really well for MSM and transwomen and so does oral PrEP) and disappointing data (we are definitely missing the targets)—all of which will inform AVAC’s advocacy for the months and years to come. For many of us here at AVAC, the week was a whirlwind of adjusting to the new online space, finding the virtual equivalent of a hallway conversation and tracking the firehose of news and session updates from the conference (not unique to the virtual experience).
In this update, we’ve put together news highlights, and links to some of our work at the conference, including recordings of some fun pop-up chats with researchers that were part of AVAC’s Research Literacy Networking Zone (RLNZ) programming. The conversations were a highlight for us—and we hope you find them useful, too!
And please bookmark our AIDS 2020 page, which we’ll update with links to the various session recordings as they become available.
News and session highlights follow—with the news links courtesy of our friends at aidsmap. For their complete coverage of the conference, click here.
- Greg Millett’s plenary address on on a host of disparities that affect the HIV epidemic, the drivers and proposed solutions is essential watching for everyone.
- Access to PrEP is a powerful tool to bring down incidence at the population level, new data from the SEARCH study show.
- Injectable cabotegravir is highly effective in reducing HIV risk in men who have sex with men and transgender women. Participants in both study arms had low rates of HIV infection, but the difference in infection rates support the conclusion that CAB-LA is “superior” to oral TDF/FTC in terms of HIV risk reduction.
- Need a refresher on HIV prevention research? UCSF’s star researcher Susan Buchbinder provided a fantastic 20-minute lesson in plenary address on why, despite high efficacy, oral PrEP alone can not meet the world’s prevention needs, Biomedical HIV prevention: Beyond daily oral PrEP.
- Confirmation of preliminary data from the ADVANCE trial, which showed significantly higher weight gain in participants (and especially in women), who were in the treatment arm that included TAF. A separate study showed weight gain before and after a switch from TDF to TAF for treatment.
- More data on ARV use and effects in pregnant and breastfeeding women, including a meta analysis of different treatments and additional data from the Tsepamo study on neural tube defects (NTDs) in women using dolutegravir-based (DTG) regimens. Additional data from the Tsepamo study suggest a decreased difference in the number of NTDs between women who do and do not use DTG, compared to earlier study findings. The findings confirm the call for access to DTG-based regimens for all women.
- Study data showed that gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in sub-Saharan African countries where homosexual activity is severely criminalized face nearly five times the risk of HIV acquisition compared to countries that don’t criminalize homosexuality.
- Additional data show that on-demand “2-1-1” PrEP is highly effective for MSM and transgender women.
- The Treatment Action Group (TAG) released its annual Pipeline Report, looking at HIV vaccines, antibodies, PrEP and microbicides.
RLNZ Pop-Up Chats
Click below to view sessions with researchers and advocates who discussed hot topics of the day. Have a topic you’d like to see featured in a future pop-up? Let us know!
Long-Acting PrEP for Cisgender Women, featuring Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Wits RHI
- Long-Acting PrEP for MSM & Transgender Women, featuring Raphael Landovitz, UCLA
- A Look at the Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Pipeline: What happens after AMP results?, featuring Devin Sok & Olayinka Fagbayi, IAVI
- A Conversation with Advocates on Preparing for AMP Trial Results, featuring Shelly Karuna, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center
- HIV Cure Research, featuring Thumbi N’dung’u, Africa Health Research Institute
- Do Africans Need COVID-19 Research? A Conversation with Advocates and Researchers, featuring Dr. Kathy Mngadi, Aurum Institute, Dr. Sherman Padayachee, Setshabsa Research Centre, Xolani Mndaweni, Klerksdrop CAB, Former Participant
- Advocates Reflect on the Latest UNAIDS Report: What does it mean for research and access?
The satellite recordings aren’t yet up on the AIDS 2020 website, but the conversation at an HIV & SRH integration satellite, co-convened by AVAC and FP2020, was so good that we decided to continue it on a webinar this week. Please watch the recording of One Year After ECHO: Integration in the Time of COVID. And in the meantime, to hear more from the experts on SRH integration, check out our One Expert/One Question/One Minute Campaign mash-up video, and additional videos and resources at SRHintegration.org.
Read about work from AVAC and our partners in various sessions below!
- Ending the HIV epidemic: Optimism, realism and disparities symposium
- How did they do it? What successful communities can teach all of us about making dramatic progress against HIV
- How policy affects practice: policy barriers to provision of HIV biomedical prevention services in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Transnational activism for an effective, comprehensive HIV response: Lessons from the coalition to mobilize power activism, strategy, solidarity (COMPASS) Africa
- Advocates’ perspectives on next-generation HIV prevention trial design
- Understanding ‘silenced health experiences’ of young people accessing HIV services through Body-Map Storytelling
epidemics and what this means in the age of COVID symposium
We’ll keep adding new resources and links to our AIDS 2020 page as they become available, and remind you when they’re loaded up! If you have questions, or want to share with us your personal highlights, be in touch—we love hearing from you!