Track Scope and Objectives
The track category is the general heading under which your abstract will be reviewed and later published in the Conference printed matters if accepted. Please choose the category that best describes the subject of your abstract.
Track A: Basic Science
The Track A (Basic Science) and Track B (Clinical Sciences) programmes focus on one general theme: translational research. In the context of Track A, translational research refers to basic HIV biology and pathogenesis research that is conceptualized and implemented with an eye towards clinical application.
The Track A programme will encompass a specific focus on research in HIV evolution, pathogenesis, transmission, novel treatment and prevention strategies, and vaccine development. Within Track A, the evolution of HIV, its genetics diversity, developments within the global epidemic, evolution in different risk groups and countries will be discussed. Track A will further highlight novel findings in HIV pathogenesis, particularly in relation to viral reservoirs, latency, the interactions of the virus with the immune system, and influence of host genetics on viremia control. Advances in basic research on the influence of opportunistic infections, TB, and coinfections with HCV and HBV on HIV disease course and immune control will also be addressed. Novel insights into the mechanisms of HIV transmission will be presented and discussed with respect to their impact on current and future prevention and treatment strategies. Advances in drug, microbicide and vaccine development will be highlighted. Emphasis will be given to new technologies in these areas, as well as to new diagnostic tools for the immunological and virological monitoring of HIV infection.
Track A committee
Track B: Clinical Sciences
Sustaining the long-term goals of providing HIV treatment and therapeutic prevention is an important focus of this track.
It will highlight the latest research findings, complexities and controversies related to: the natural history, diagnosis and management of HIV infection; antiretroviral therapy and immunotherapy; the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections and co-infections, including TB, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections; and other co-morbidities. Issues for discussion related to antiretroviral therapy will include new drug therapies, the impact of therapies on HIV reservoirs, pharmacokinetics, drug interactions, adherence to treatment, treatment simplification and drug resistance, as well as short- and long-term adverse events, including cardiovascular, renal and hepatic complications and non-AIDS malignancies. Approaches to treatment, care and support in specific populations – including men who have sex with men, infants and children, adolescents, women (including prevention of mother-to-child transmission), the ageing population, and marginalized groups, such as people who use drugs – will be addressed, as will innovations related to the provision of HIV care in resource-limited settings.
The application of basic research findings to HIV treatment and care is important as it fosters further basic sciences research. This important synergy between basic and clinical sciences research will be explored
Track B committee
Track C: Epidemiology and Prevention Sciences
This track will focus on the dynamics of the HIV epidemic, and the design, implementation and evaluation of the impact of HIV prevention interventions and programmes. Sessions in this track will encompass the full continuum of epidemiological and biomedical prevention sciences.
Approaches to accelerate efforts to reduce new HIV infections will be the main focus of this track. This will include methods to assess HIV transmission dynamics and to better understand and track epidemics and their impact. New insights into determinants of acquisition and transmission of HIV will be highlighted, including the role of other sexually transmitted infections and co-infections.
Of particular interest are new HIV testing and diagnostic strategies. This track will also address the surveillance of antiretroviral drug resistance. The combination of prevention and treatment of HIV, as well as co-morbidities focusing on special populations – in particular people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, people who sell sex, and prisoners – will also be addressed in this track. Studies around HIV transmission in serodiscordant couples and youth will be presented. Progress in prevention of mother-to-child transmission will be highlighted. The results from studies on new prevention technologies such as microbicides and use of antiretrovirals for prevention, as well as AIDS vaccines and their potential contribution to other prevention efforts, will be presented.
Track C committee
Track D: Social and Behavioural Sciences
Track D invites submissions utilizing social and behavioural sciences –especially anthropology, psychology and sociology – to increase understanding and support for effective action and to lessen HIV risk, vulnerability and impact.
The track aims to: build bridges between affected communities, scientists, and service providers; create new generalizable knowledge; and address gaps in the translation of behavioural and social science evidence into practice. It also aims to contribute to the building of theory and understanding in HIV-related social science.
Track D also aims to promote understanding of the individual and social determinants of HIV-related risk, vulnerability and impact, to inform development of effective and sustainable HIV responses.
Finally, Track D promotes scientific debate and consensus on the methods and resources available and necessary to document, design, and evaluate social, behavioural and structural programmes for prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI), including evaluation methodologies (e.g. ‘good enough evaluation'), participatory methods, outcome measures (e.g. quality of life, changed social norms, empowerment, social mobilization), and methods for building capacity in the social and behavioural sciences.
To achieve these objectives, Track D will feature research, analysis and evaluation on:
Track D committee
- psychosocial factors that shape individual attitudes, experiences, and behaviours across the life cycle, including healthy and pleasurable sexuality, risk perception, risk taking, and risk compensation; and those that shape HIV-related developmental and mental-health issues;
- social and structural factors that shape vulnerability and risk, including family systems, community and social capital;
- social and cultural norms that underlie individual risk and community vulnerability, including HIV-related stigma, multiple stigma, and discrimination (e.g. towards people who inject drugs, men having sex with men, migrants, sex workers);
- socially and culturally constructed differences and inequalities of age, gender, geography, disability, sexuality, heritage/ethnicity and other variables;
- programmes that promote access to HIV/STI prevention, treatment, care and support, as well as strategies to enhance demand for effective and comprehensive HIV programs;
- methods and outcomes of individual and community engagement, leadership, empowerment, and self-determination.
Track E: Economics, Operations Research, Care and Health Systems
This track will examine how HIV programmes affect non-HIV outcomes, global health indicators, health systems functioning and financing, as well as economic growth and human development. It will also explore how resources are allocated to and within the fight against the epidemic. There will be a particular interest in human resource issues, including task shifting. In addition, the effect of health systems status on the design, implementation and effectiveness of HIV programmes will be addressed.
Track E will also evaluate the impact of HIV prevention, care and treatment programme scale-up and implementation. Operations research related to effectiveness of interventions, as well as research on improving resource allocation for HIV prevention and care, will be addressed. Additional research on the effectiveness of community structures and community involvement will be explored, including the role of such organizations in health systems strengthening.
Costing and cost-effectiveness analyses will be a focal point of this track. This includes:
- Assessments of optimizing diagnostics and monitoring tools;
- Improving monitoring of HIV outcomes and its major complications;
- Improving management of health care systems; and
- Programmes oriented toward improvement of human, community, and institutional capacity.
Emphasis will be given to outcome evaluation and modeling of the effect of HIV-related programmes at national, regional and local level, as well as their impact on and integration with other health services, including models of programme delivery and scale-up.
Track E committee
Track F: Policy, Law, Human Rights and Political Science
This track invites contributions from a wide diversity of approaches, including interdisciplinary approaches, which describe progress, challenges, gaps and successes in the area of policy formulation and implementation, development of appropriate legal frameworks and politics. Sessions will focus on concrete examples of human rights programming and analysis of HIV interventions within a human rights framework, with special reference to substance abuse, incarceration, sex work, sexual minorities, ethnic minorities, migrants and gender. In addition, analyses of the impact of legal and political frameworks on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support will be addressed.
This track invites submissions on:
Track F committee
- Comprehensive evaluations of policies, laws and programmes that have successfully applied a human rights-based approach;
- Documentation and critical analysis of advocacy, including the meaningful participation of people living with HIV and most affected communities, and its impact on legislative, policy and programme development, governance and socio-political development;
- Evaluation of the impact of international commitments and policy guidance on national/regional policy formulation and implementation and its impact on the HIV epidemic;
- Methodologies for measuring policy indicators to ensure accountability for commitments made at national, regional and international levels;
- Critical analyses of global trade policy and patent legislation and their impact on HIV programmes; and
- Exploration of the ethical dimensions of biomedical research, HIV testing, and implementation of existing prevention and treatment technologies.