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Governmental Bodies Must Become More Flexible in Promoting HIV Prevention

March 7, 2017

The line between government interests and community interests ... is completely fuzzy in the HIV universe.

-- Demetre Daskalakis, M.D., M.P.H.

In an interview on behalf of IFARA at CROI 2017, Fred Schaich spoke with people from government agencies and a community activist about the role of government in HIV prevention. Governmental bodies must work together with community organizations to reach groups that have been left out of prevention work. Young people are one of the more important of these groups. HIV agencies need to work with behavioral scientists and young people themselves to tailor prevention messages to a population that "thinks it's invincible, is mobile and is very sexually active," as Carl Dieffenbach put it.

Generation Z is used to instant communication, online self-learning and transparent information. These traits can be used to promote sexual health. However, they also mean agencies must react quickly and more nimbly. "Same day start [of HIV treatment or pre-exposure prophylaxis] makes all the difference," Shannon Hader noted.

Scientists also must ensure that underserved communities, such as transgender women, are included when clinical studies are designed; otherwise, members of these communities will not feel that the research applies to them. "Scientists sometimes don't think about the idea that the work they are doing needs to map back to the community," said Julie Patterson.

Watch the video to learn more:

About the panelists:

  • Carl Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.
  • Julie Patterson, M.P.H., AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, Cleveland, Ohio and AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention.
  • Shannon Hader, M.D., M.P.H., U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global HIV & TB, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Demetre Daskalakis, M.D., M.P.H., New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, N.Y.

The video above has been posted on with permission from our partners at the International Foundation for Alternative Research in AIDS (IFARA). Visit IFARA's website or YouTube channel to watch more video interviews from the conference, as well as earlier meetings.

Barbara Jungwirth is a freelance writer and translator based in New York.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @reliabletran.

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This article was provided by TheBodyPRO. It is a part of the publication The 24th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

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