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Programme highlights: The search for an HIV vaccine and cure

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HIV vaccine and cure research is advancing quickly. The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) will feature the latest research, including new insights into the drivers of HIV progression, advances in immune control in both acute and chronic infection, and new approaches to targeting latent reservoirs to achieve a cure.

 

Conference Session Highlights

Highlights from some of the sessions, workshops and speakers include:

  • Annual pre-conference Towards an HIV Cure Symposium, 16-17 July, showcasing cutting-edge cure research in the field and providing opportunities to discuss, debate, and network with colleagues from around the world; co-chaired by Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (Institut Pasteur), Steven Deeks (UCSF), and Sharon Lewin (University of Melbourne)
    • Opening session presenters include Anthony Fauci (NIAID) andGethwana Mahlase (COMMOSAT), academia and community
    • Special joint session with the 8th International Workshop on Paediatric HIV Research: presentation on neonatal and paediatric immunology relevant to HIV persistence, followed by a roundtable discussion on research priorities in paediatric HIV cure
    • Roundtable discussion on bridging biomedical research and the social sciences
  • Interactive workshop, Towards an HIV Cure: Engaging the Community16 July, is an educational platform to engage the community and provide accessible information around current research directions and challenges for an HIV cure. Open to all, the workshop is aimed in particular at community representatives, young researchers, researchers from outside the field and the wider public interested in the field  
  • The launch of the updated 2016 Global Scientific Strategy: Towards an HIV Cure, a roadmap of key research priorities – in social sciences, basic, translational and clinical science – in the search for an HIV cure
    • Updated through a global consultation, reflecting improved understanding of HIV reservoirs and latency, and an expanded scope to include social sciences, ethics and research in resource-limited settings, 16 July
  • Vaccine-focused AIDS 2016 plenary, featuring principal investigator of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network Larry Corey, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 20 July

 

Scientific Programme Highlights

The latest science presented throughout the conference, including:

  • Progress on using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system to eliminate the proviral genome from infected cells and cells harbouring latent virus
  • The latest insights into allogeneic stem cell transplantation in reducing HIV reservoirs
  • New findings on whether “PD-1 blockade” can impact the viral reservoir under ART and restore anti-viral CD8 T-cell function
  • A promising new strategy to increase the breadth and magnitude of cellular and humoral immunity, which allows for the development of robust T-cell responses targeting a broad range of epitopes
  • New approaches to better understand HIV reactivation, including how frequently individual latent cells are reactivated, how much virus they produce and how long they survive
  • New discoveries around broadly neutralizing antibodies that target the glycan-V1V2 epitope

 

 

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