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02 Mar 2012 | Press Release

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Major HIV Conference comes to Sydney in April

Events Infection Control HIV

<i>The International Microbicides Conference (M2012) - From Discovery to Delivery - held on 15-18 April, 2012 is the key conference to discuss cutting edge developments in HIV prevention

World leading HIV experts will soon be convening in Sydney to advance a new type of product that could change the face of HIV prevention: microbicides. The 2012 International Microbicides Conference (M2012) - From Discovery to Delivery - will take place from April 15-18 at the Sydney Exhibition and Conference Centre at Darling Harbour. Accredited journalists are invited to attend the conference for free.

Why attend?
Whether you're interested in global health in general or HIV in particular, M2012 presents a unique opportunity to get breaking headlines from the experts in this field. Journalists are also invited to attend pre-conference workshops, symposia, debates and join the Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner where they can network with leading scientists, scholars, advocates and donors from around the world.

What are microbicides?
Heralded as 'the most important innovation in reproductive health since the Pill', microbicides refer to a range of products applied vaginally or rectally to provide protection from HIV and possibly other sexually transmitted infections. Related products, known as "PrEP", are taken orally, with the same goal of HIV prevention.

Why are microbicides important?
Today's HIV prevention options are not feasible for millions of people around the world, especially women. Many women do not have the social or economic power necessary to insist on condom use or fidelity or to abandon partnerships that put them at risk. In the extreme HIV epidemics of southern Africa, a high proportion of women are at risk only through their husbands, with whom condom use is not an option. Microbicides offer women the chance to protect themselves. In low prevalence countries such as Australia, microbicides could offer a supplement to condoms.

Plenary speakers and topics include:

  • Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Director of CAPRISA - Centre for the AIDS Program of Research, South Africa - "CAPRISA 004 two years on: Lessons and implications"
  • Professor Helen Rees, Executive Director, Reproductive Health Research Unit, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa - "Contraception and HIV"
  • Dr Connie Celum, Professor of Global Health and Medicine at University of Washington, USA - "State of the evidence from trials, what we know and what we still need to know"
  • Dr Peter Cherutich, Head of HIV Prevention, National AIDS/STD Control Programme, Kenya - "Implementing an effective HIV prevention strategy on a national scale"
  • Dr Carl Dieffenbach, Director, Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases - "The future of microbicides and PrEP in the broader context of HIV prevention research"
  • Professor Richard Hayes, Professor of Epidemiology & International Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK - "A vision for the future of prevention trials in HIV"
  • Dr Betsy Herold, Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA - "The basic science of HIV transmission, and implications for the design of effective topical microbicides and oral chemoprophylaxis"
  • Ms Milly Katana (MPH, MA, MBA), Public Health Specialist, John Snow Incorporated, Uganda - "Making access a reality for all those in need"
  • Dr Joseph Romano, NWJ Group, USA - "The barriers and incentives in the pathway to developing a usable new technology for HIV prevention"
  • Dr Frits van Griensven, US Centers for Disease Control, Thailand - "The role of new prevention technologies in concentrated HIV epidemics"
  • Dr Debrework Zewdie, Deputy Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, Switzerland - "Who pays? Global resourcing for new HIV prevention technology"

To view the full program, please go to:




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