21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016)


AIDS 2016 Preview: Toward an HIV Cure, New Drugs, PrEP Update and More

July 12, 2016

The International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) returns to Durban, South Africa, this year. The last time the conference convened in Durban was in 2000, when the theme was "Breaking the Silence" and Nelson Mandela delivered the closing address.

Now, over a decade later, we may have broken the silence, but there's still much more to do. The theme for AIDS 2016 is "Access Equity Rights Now," which, among other goals, is a call for action to "reach the people who still lack access to comprehensive treatment, prevention, care and support services," and "strengthen the commitment to HIV research evidence-based interventions."

The meeting takes place from July 18-22, and will be on-site to provide updates and analysis on the latest HIV news.

But before we get there, here's a preview of what to expect:


Towards an HIV Cure Symposium
The annual symposium will provide an excellent overview of where we are in the race to an HIV cure, highlighting some of the latest cure research and discussing the road ahead.

Treatment Evolution: New Drugs, New Reality
We continue to see advances in HIV treatment, and from this panel we'll see updated 48-week results from LATTE-2, a study on long-acting cabotegravir + rilpivirine (Edurant) as maintenance therapy.

PrEP: New Drugs, New Questions
This session will focus on new drugs and ways of administering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), including a long-acting injection of rilpivirine and a slow-releasing vaginal ring.

Progress in HIV Vaccines and the Road to the Clinic
We'll get to hear about the latest HIV vaccine research, including the recently launched Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP) study, which seeks to test whether broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) can help prevent HIV transmission.

Targeting Reservoirs for Cure
An ideal (sterilizing) cure would eliminate HIV reservoirs completely so that HIV cannot replicate after antiretroviral therapy is stopped. We're not quite there yet, but research continues as we try to better understand and target these reservoirs, using strategies such as gene therapy and stem cell transplantation.

Immune Control of HIV
Along with targeting the reservoirs, researchers are studying how to arm the body's immune system to better control HIV. The hope is that, with a better-prepared immune system, we can create effective preventative and therapeutic vaccines that can prevent or suppress HIV without daily treatment.

Living With HIV: Long-Term Effects
As people with HIV continue to live longer than before, we're seeing more of the long-term effects of living with HIV. This session will highlight some of the recent studies on aging with HIV and comorbidities.

Trans-forming HIV Prevention and Care Talk
We're starting to see more research focusing on transgender individuals, and that's a good thing because the transgender community is one of the more affected yet underrepresented groups in HIV. This session will present some of that research, with a focus on prevention and care for transgender individuals.

Warren Tong is the senior science editor for and Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.

Copyright © 2016 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.


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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.


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