IAVI REPORT – VOL. 18, NO. 3, 2014
As the last issue of IAVI Report closed, thousands of researchers and advocates were preparing to attend the annual conference hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS), AIDS 2014, which took place this year in Melbourne, Australia. As everyone undoubtedly knows by now, tragedy struck on July 17 with the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, taking the lives of several heroes in the HIV fight who were en route to the conference. In this issue, we pay tribute to those whose lives were cut short, including former IAS president and noted researcher Joep Lange, his longtime partner Jacqueline van Tongeren, and several others, and highlight some of their many contributions.
We also report extensively on the research findings presented at AIDS 2014 and the Towards an HIV Cure symposium that preceded the conference, which provided a detailed review of the recent advances in cure research, as well as the setbacks, which suggest achieving an HIV cure will still be an onerous task. But no matter how difficult, interest in and funding for pursuing an HIV cure is on the rise, according to the latest report by the HIV vaccines and microbicides resource tracking working group released this summer.
With one big conference behind us, there is another on the horizon. This year, in lieu of separate conferences focused on HIV vaccine and microbicide research, there will be the first global conference featuring research on all biomedical HIV prevention strategies, including vaccines, microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and treatment as prevention, among others. The inaugural conference, known as HIV R4P (research for prevention), will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from October 28-31. Robin Shattock, a renowned researcher and one of the co-chairs of HIV R4P, authored a perspective article for this issue, explaining the rationale for the joint conference and previewing some of the key data that can be expected there.
And, of course, you can turn to the next issue for a full report on the research updates presented at HIV R4P, along with context and perspective for this data that you won’t find anywhere else.
—Kristen Jill Kresge