Track Scope and Objectives
Track A: Basic Sciences
This track will highlight the latest advances in our understanding of fundamental aspects of HIV replication, transmission, pathogenesis, treatment and prevention. It will encompass various basic elements related to these aspects including: cellular restriction factors, viral evolution, founder viruses, latency, reservoirs, mucosa, host-virus interactions, host immune responses, innate immunity, B cells, antibodies, T cells, immune activation, aging, host genetics, models of protection, drug development, drug resistance, microbicides and vaccines. Equal emphasis will be given to co-infections with Tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis C (HCV) or other infectious agents, as well as to the pathogenesis of HIV-related metabolic complications. Track A will present new data addressing fundamental aspects in HIV infection and pathogenesis, in order to identify the correlates of protection for preventive vaccine approaches as well as to quest for eradication and functional cure strategies. In addition, Track A will cover the development of new antivirals to improve efficacy and durability for long-term treatment and examine the mechanisms and new concepts for reducing non-AIDS-related morbidity and mortality.
Track B: Clinical Sciences
This track will focus on the latest research findings, complexities and controversies surrounding the therapeutic prevention and clinical management of HIV and its infectious, non-infectious, malignant, metabolic complications and comorbid illnesses. Specifically it will address the initiation and choice of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in both naïve and experienced patients; related issues will include new and existing drug therapies, the impact of these therapies on HIV reservoirs, pharmacokinetics, drug interactions, adherence to treatment, and treatment simplification. Track B will also address the impact of drug-related toxicity and resistance in different population subgroups such as women (including those who are pregnant), people who use drugs, men who have sex with men (MSM), those co-infected with HCV, TB or sexually transmitted pathogens. Given the marked improvement in morbidity and mortality associated with HIV care, Track B will investigate new developments in aging, frailty and in other age-related comorbidities such as cardiovascular, renal, neurocognitive and metabolic diseases. Approaches to treatment, care and support among all people at risk of, vulnerable to, or living with HIV will be addressed, as well as innovations related to the provision of HIV care in resource-limited settings. New approaches to the diagnosis, and management of HIV associated opportunistic infections and malignancies will also be addressed.
Track C: Prevention Science
This track will focus on HIV prevention science research and will examine both methodological and programmatic advances in the continuum of HIV prevention research. Important components of this track will include advances in epidemiology and molecular epidemiology, social and behavioural sciences relevant to HIV prevention, best practices in HIV prevention for vulnerable populations in resource-limited settings, combination prevention with a focus on optimization of combined prevention approaches, approaches for particular groups at risk including discordant couples, maternal-child dyads, MSM and injecting and non-injecting drug users. Track C will also present advances in preparedness promotion for biomedical prevention technologies, with particular focus on new approaches to measures of HIV incidence; testing-based approaches; and research on new prevention approaches including microbicides, vaccines, pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, community viral load-based approaches, circumcision, treatment as prevention, and other methods. Structural approaches in prevention will be included both as areas of new research and as components of combination prevention.
Track D: Operations and Implementation Research
This track will focus on issues related to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of prevention, care and treatment of HIV and related outcomes in both developed and developing countries. It will focus on implementation science, including research on how to rapidly translate and scale up efficacious interventions into country-wide programmes and policy. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, identifying implementation cascades for care, treatment, and prevention; improving retention linkage at every step; ameliorating resource utilization and allocation; and scaling up diagnostic systems of care and monitoring tools. Track D will also investigate methods to increase demand for care and prevention, advance HIV surveillance methodologies, and optimize positive synergies between HIV programmes and health care systems and between HIV and other health outcomes. Track D will present research focused on the contribution of HIV programmes towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, as well as evaluating the impact of sustainable national, regional and local HIV programmes. In addition to the focus areas listed above, Track D research will examine human, community, and/or institutional capacity. Relevant biomedical, epidemiological, economic and other social science presentations will be included.