June 6, 2016
On behalf of IFARA, thebodypro.com recently posted two videos. In the first, Jim Pickett, director of Prevention Advocacy and Gay Men’s Health at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, spoke with Robert Grant, MD, MPH, Mike Cohen, MD, Ian McGowan, MD, PhD, FRCP, and Mitchell Warren about HIV prevention research presented at this year’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).
New prevention tools, such as a safe and effective vaginal ring and the prospect of long-acting injectable agents are exciting news, panelists agreed. However, these tools are only as good as their implementation — as is the case with already approved methods, such as oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This includes finding and effectively treating people living with HIV, because those with an undetectable viral load do not transmit the virus.
Panelists would advise the next US President to invest in long-term research, including the search for a vaccine, cure, fund open-label studies of the vaginal ring, and provide treatment and prevention services to as many people as possible — especially women and men of color.
Watch the video on thebodypro.com.
In the second video, AVAC Policy Director Kevin Fisher spoke with Steven Wakefield and Ntando Yola about the development of a vaccine for HIV.
Wakefield called antibody-mediated prevention “the next holy grail.” Trials of broadly neutralizing antibodies that are infused every two months will start enrollment across the globe by mid-year, he said. However, a potential vaccine is just one component in a set of HIV prevention methods. Yola described HIV prevention as “a track field where products are racing each other.” Communities pin their hopes on each new prevention modality, but the focus needs to be moved from specific methods to overall prevention science, he believes. To that end, the science behind vaccine research needs to be explained in a way that people in the community can understand.
This video is also available at thebodypro.com.