Public Release: 

NIAID symposium in Buenos Aires: Formulating a comprehensive HIV/AIDS research agenda in developing countries

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

In conjunction with the International AIDS Society's 1st Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will conduct a special symposium entitled "Formulating a Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Research Agenda in Developing Countries" on July 7 at 1:00 p.m. in the Libertador Room of the Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel (Tel: 54-11-43189000). Hosted by NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., the symposium will engage the presenters, panelists, and attendees in a dialogue on the significant challenges in international HIV/AIDS research.

Common themes from diverse geographic and cultural settings will be identified. The role that NIAID and NIH can play as partners with host countries in guiding and supporting the development of appropriate and effective research programs in these settings will be discussed.

The symposium will address two major questions in international HIV/AIDS research.

* How do we identify research needs and establish priorities in developing countries?

* What are the best ways to expand in-country research capacity to address these priorities?

The Symposium agenda and panel members are as follows:

13:00-13:20 Welcome and Opening Presentation
"NIH as a Partner in the HIV Research Agenda in Developing Nations"
Presenter: Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. (NIH/USA)
Note: Dr. Fauci's slide presentation will be posted at
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/director/argentinameeting.htm
on July 7 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time

13:20-13:30 Panel Introductions
Moderator: Carlos Del Rio, M.D. (Mexico)

13:30-13:45 "How do we identify research needs and establish priorities in developing countries?"
Presenter: Jose Esparza, M.D. (UNAIDS/Switzerland)
Note: Dr. Esparza's slide presentation will be posted at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/director/argentinameeting.htm on July 7 at 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

13:45-14:45 Panel/Audience Discussion

14:45-15:00 "What are the best ways to expand in-country research capacity to address these priorities?" Presenter: Prof. Patricio Garrahan, M.D. (Argentina)

15:00-16:00 Panel/Audience Discussion and Conclusions

Panel Members:

Hoosen Coovadia, M.D. (South Africa)
Jonathan Kaplan, M.D. (CDC/USA)
Paolo Miotti, M.D. (NIH/USA)
Praphan Phanuphak, M.D., Ph.D. (Thailand)
Jorge Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H. (Peru)
Mauro Schechter, M.D., Ph.D. (Brazil)
Graciela Touze (Argentina)
Mercedes Weissenbacher, M.D. (Argentina)

Background:

NIH and NIAID have a long and successful history of supporting international AIDS research, dating back to the early years of the AIDS epidemic. As discussed in the recent NIH Global AIDS Research Initiative and Strategic Plan (available at http://www.nih.gov/od/oar/meetings/global.pdf), NIH currently supports AIDS research activities at well over 300 sites in more than 100 countries. NIH funding for international AIDS research increased from $28 million in fiscal year 1990 to an estimated $154 million in fiscal years 2002.

NIAID international HIV/AIDS programs over the years have included the:

* Cornell/Haiti Project (1984-present)
* Projet SIDA Zaire (1984-1992)
* International Collaboration in AIDS Research (ICAR; 1988-1992)
* Preparation for AIDS Vaccine Evaluation (PAVE; 1993-1994)
* HIV Network for Prevention Trials (HIVNET; 1994-2000)
* HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN; 1999-present)
* HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN; 1999-present)
* Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA, 2001-present)

NIAID recently developed a global HIV/AIDS research agenda with the goal of helping to provide the knowledge and resource base for the development of effective treatment and preventions strategies in developing countries. This agenda is delineated in the NIAID Global Health Research Plan for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, available at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/publications/globalhealth/global.pdf.

Two recently launched programs are key to the NIAID international AIDS research effort: the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), which have research sites in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The HPTN focuses on several key areas of prevention research, including behavioral modification, interventions to prevent mother-to infant HIV transmission, and the development of topically applied microbicides for protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted pathogens. The HVTN will conduct all phases of clinical vaccine trials, from evaluating candidate vaccines for safety and the ability to stimulate immune responses, to testing vaccine efficacy.

In addition, the Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA) will provide long-term support for fundamental epidemiological, laboratory, and clinical studies on HIV/AIDS and concomitant infections, and enhance in-country capability to conduct relevant and ethically sound public health research in local populations.

###

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.