International AIDS Society

Daily Plenary Sessions

The daily plenary sessions feature some of the world’s most distinguished HIV scientists, policy specialists and community leaders. Plenary sessions will bring together all conference delegates at the first session of every morning.

The daily plenary topics will set the tone for the week's programme. Presentation dates and titles are subject to change.

Plenary Topics and Speakers' Bios


Mean Chhi Vun Mean Chhi Vun, MD, MPH, Cambodia
Achieving Universal Access and Moving towards Elimination of New HIV Infections in Cambodia

Mean Chhi Vun is the Director of the National Center for HIV, Dermatology and STI (NCHADS), and Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Cambodia. He has led Cambodia’s health sector response to HIV for more than a decade. It was under his leadership that Cambodia was awarded a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) award from the United Nations in 2010 in recognition of the country’s HIV efforts. Dr Vun has presented his work at many international conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals. In the 1990s, he was involved in rebuilding Cambodia’s health systems after years of civil war and in establishing the polio eradication programme before he took over the leadership of the national HIV programme. Dr. Vun is a medical doctor from the University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia and has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Linda-Gail BekkerLinda-Gail Bekker, MBChB, FCP, PhD, South Africa
Pediatrics: The Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

Linda-Gail Bekker is Deputy Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Cape Town. She is also Operating Officer of The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. Among many other community-based projects, the Foundation runs a vibrant youth centre and a number of innovative youth programs in and around Cape Town. Dr. Bekker is a clinician with a keen interest in HIV and TB epidemiology, prevention, pathogenesis and management and is passionate about community development. Having been involved in the South African HIV epidemic since the 80’s she dreams of an Africa free of HIV and TB.

Aziza Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Law, United States
HIV, Law and Stigma

Aziza Ahmed is Assistant Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law. Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty, Professor Ahmed was a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health Program on International Health and Human Rights. She came to that position after a Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship with the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW). She has worked on issues related to HIV and the law in a variety of settings including South Africa, Namibia, India, the United States and the Caribbean, and has consulted with various United Nations agencies and international and domestic non-governmental organizations. Professor Ahmed served on the Technical Advisory Group to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.


Daniel Douek Daniel Douek, MD, PhD, United States
The Relationship between HIV Disease and Inflammation

Daniel Douek is Chief of the Human Immunology Section at the National Institutes of Health, Vaccine Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Douek was appointed to the NIH Vaccine Research Center in November 2000. His laboratory studies the processes that determine the course of human diseases in which the immune system, particularly its T cell arm, plays a central role in their pathogenesis and outcome. Dr. Douek aims to use the knowledge gained to initiate clinical studies of new therapeutic and vaccine approaches. He is a widely published author in the field of human immunology and currently the main focus of his lab is both the pathogenesis and immune control of HIV infection. In 2007 he was given the NIH World AIDS Day Award. Dr. Douek studied medicine at the Universities of Oxford and London. He practiced internal medicine before pursuing a PhD in Immunology at the University of London.

Javier R. Lama Javier R. Lama, MD, MPH, Peru
State of the Evidence from Oral and Topical PrEP Efficacy Trials: What We Know and What We Still Need to Know

Javier R. Lama is Director of HIV Prevention Interventions Studies at the IMPACTA PERU Clinical Trials Unit, Asociación Civil Impacta Salud y Educación, a not-for-profit HIV research organization in Lima, Peru. He is an affiliated Assistant Professor at the Department of Global Health, University of Washington. Dr. Lama conducts HIV clinical research to identify interventions and strategies aimed at reducing HIV transmission in populations most severely affected by the epidemic, and at optimizing health care of HIV-positive populations. He has led multisite clinical trials assessing the safety and efficacy of different biomedical HIV prevention interventions, including vaccine candidates, oral and topical antiretrovirals, treatment as prevention, as well as combination packages. Dr. Lama studied at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia where he qualified as a Medical Doctor in 1996 and as a specialist in infectious and tropical diseases in 2000. He obtained an MPH degree in Epidemiology and a Certificate in International Health from the University of Washington in 2004.

Barbara de Zalduondo Barbara de Zalduondo, MSc, PhD, UNAIDS
Social Determinants: Structural Barriers

Barbara de Zalduondo is Senior Advisor to the Deputy Executive Director for Programme at UNAIDS, Geneva. Dr. de Zalduondo work focuses on social sciences and HIV, new HIV prevention technologies, and HIV in the Post-2015 development agenda. With 30 years of research, teaching and management experience in public health in low- and middle-income countries, she has specialized in HIV programme planning and evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and broader social determinants of health. Since 2006, she has overseen the UNAIDS Prevention, Care and Support unit; the Security and Humanitarian Response unit; and the Gender, Human Rights and Law team. Prior to joining UNAIDS, Dr. de Zalduondo, provided strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation support and coordination for the US Agency for International Development’s HIV/AIDS programme. From 1994-2000 she was part of the USAID team that, with CDC, HRSA and US Department of State colleagues, laid the foundation for PEPFAR. She has published and led innovative, collaborative research on sex work and HIV, HIV-related stigma, and on the interplay of culture, health and sexuality in HIV risk behaviour. Formerly on the faculty of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, she holds a PhD in biological anthropology from Harvard University and a Master of Science in Behavioural Sciences from The Harvard School of Public Health.


J.V.R. Prasada RaoJ.V.R. Prasada Rao, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia and in the Pacific
Tracking the HIV Epidemic in Asia and the Pacific

J.V.R. Prasada Rao was appointed as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia Pacific from July 2012. Prasada Rao became Director of India’s National AIDS Control Organization in 1997. Later he became India’s Permanent Secretary for Health and Family Welfare. Mr. Rao played an instrumental role in implementing a comprehensive and decentralized national AIDS control programme in India which has enabled the country to be well on its way to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 6. Prasada Rao served as Member Secretary of three independent commissions: AIDS in Asia, AIDS in the Pacific, and the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. During his work with the Government of India and later with UNAIDS, Mr. Rao has always advocated for the empowerment of vulnerable communities and people living with HIV as an essential requirement to achieve an HIV-free society in Asia and the Pacific.

Dennis Burton Dennis Burton, PhD, United States
Vaccine: New Developments in Protecting Antibodies

Dennis Burton is Professor of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Scientific Director of the Neutralizing Antibody Consortium of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and Director of the NIH Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery at the Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Burton pioneered the isolation of human antibodies from immune donors, most notably from a variety of viral infections including HIV, HCV, RSV and Ebola virus. For HIV, he defined many of the anti-viral activities of human antibodies in vitro and in vivo. He also helped describe the structural basis for neutralization by several prototype broadly neutralizing antibodies together with Ian Wilson. He was an early champion of the rational vaccine design approach to highly variable and difficult pathogens such as HIV, HCV and influenza virus. More recently, Dr. Burton was at the forefront of generating novel highly potent broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV that are re-invigorating the attempts to design an HIV vaccine via rational structure-based strategies. He received a BA degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD degree in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in Biology from the University of Lund, Sweden.

Karine Lacombe Karine Lacombe, MPH, PhD, France
HIV and Hepatitis C Co-Infection

Karine Lacombe is Associate Professor of the infectious and tropical diseases department of Saint-Antoine Hospital (AP-HP) in, Paris, France. She teaches infectious diseases and public health in numerous universities and schools around France, Sub Saharan Africa and Asia. Dr. Lacombe is involved in the clinical and therapeutical management of HIV-infected patients care at the inpatient and outpatient clinic of the hospital. As part of her academic work, she developed clinical research in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Vietnam on the issues of HIV-chronic hepatitis B and C, as well as co-morbidities associated with the use of antiretrovirals. She is the main author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications and books on these subjects. She holds an MPH in Public Health and Evaluation of Health Actions and a PhD in Epidemiology from the Pierre et Marie Curie University of Sciences, in Paris.