Thursday, 25 October, 2018

SANTHE Fellows at HIVR4P 2018, Madrid, Spain.SANTHE Programme Director, Professor Thumbi Ndung'u, presented a talk entitled, "First responders: what early infection teachers about prevention and functional cure strategies," at the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) scientific meeting at the Madrid Marriott Auditorium in Spain, on Monday, October 22nd, 2018. In fact, SANTHE was extremely well-represented at the conference with 9 Fellows and a Path-to-Independence awardee in attendance from various sites, as well as 3 co-recipients of the SANTHE grant - Professor Thumbi Ndung'u based in Durban, South Africa, Dr Etienne Karita based in Kigali, Rwanda, and Professor Eduard Sanders based in Kilifi, Kenya - in addition to several members from SANTHE's Consortium Steering Committee, Scientific Advisory Board, and group of Researcher/Supervisors. Dr Zaza Ndhlovu, SANTHE Researcher/Supervisor and Collaborative Grant Awardee, based in Durban, South Africa, also presented a talk entitled, "HIV Persistence and the Immune Microenvironment in Lymph Nodes Following Initiation of cART During Hyperacute HIV-1 Infection," on Wednesday, October 24th.

Furthermore, SANTHE, in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), co-hosted a successful satellite session at the conference entitled, "Catalysing translational research to advance HIV vaccine & immune-based cure research in Africa." The purpose of the session was to showcase early and mid-level career African scientists supported by ADVANCE (Accelerating the Development of Vaccines and New Technologies to Combat the AIDS Epidemic), the current iteration of a 15-year IAVI-led USAID-funded capacity programme, and by SANTHE consortium, part of the DELTAS Africa initiative, an independent funding scheme of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)’s Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA). It's aim was to provide evidence of the impact these investments have created in translational biomedical research in Africa. This session also included a moderated panel discussion by African investigators who shared their personal career trajectories, experiences and perspectives on how research capacity and research outputs could be further strengthened and improved on the continent.

HIVR4P is organised by Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise and is the only global scientific conference focused exclusively on the challenging and fast-growing field of biomedical HIV prevention research. The conference supports cross-fertilisation among research on HIV vaccines, microbicides, PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis), treatment as prevention, and other biomedical prevention approaches, while also providing a venue to discuss the research findings, questions, and priorities specific to each. The HIVR4P scientific programme includes four days of plenary sessions by global leaders in HIV prevention research and policy; hundreds of new research studies presented in oral abstract and poster sessions; meet-the-expert lunches, symposia and roundtables; and pre-conference satellite sessions sponsored by research- and community-based organistions from around the world.

Watch Ndung'u's presentation HERE

Watch Ndhlovu's presentation HERE

Access webcasts of the satellite session HERE