Health & Fitness

Paris meeting to release latest studies on war against HIV

Drugs ARVs are helping contain HIV/Aids effects. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Drugs ARVs are helping contain HIV/Aids effects. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

About 22 Kenyan researchers will join their peers this week in Paris to showcase the latest developments in HIV prevention science.

They will be attending the 9th International Aid Society Conference (IAS) on HIV Science, a biennial open scientific gathering.

Over 6,000 professionals from around the world are expected at the event, which will take place between July 22 to 27, 2017.

Researchers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Centre of Disease Control, National Aids Control Council, Ministry of Health, National Aids and STI control programme will, in addition to examining the latest scientific developments in HIV-related research, also release groundbreaking studies on the virus with which nearly 1.6 million Kenyans live with.

Kenyans are expected to chair 25 sessions while a record 107 abstracts will be exhibited by local researchers.

Linda-Gail Bekker, IAS 2017 International Scientific Chair President, said hosting the conference in Paris had important significance since the city has a long and impressive history in demonstrating leadership in HIV science.

"This is the fourth time that Paris will host a major international HIV and AIDS conference, further demonstrating France’s leadership and commitment to science research and optimising HIV care and prevention. Each one has been memorable and a significant milestone in the history of the epidemic,” she says in a statement.

Prof Bekker who is also the deputy director, Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town said the conference will highlight major advancements in understanding the intricate network of viral-host interactions, in better characterising and targeting the HIV reservoir.

“We will also look at ways to tackle persistent HIV, as well as the interaction and synergies with other fields, such as cancer research and immune-based therapies,” she says

At the conference, researchers are anticipating new science on preventive and therapeutic vaccinations, and on improved tools and strategies for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), as well as new insights into the novel areas of personalised medicine and biomarkers.

Key research of the year on the virus will also be highlighted during the event.