amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

TREAT Asia Investigators Consider Progress of Regional HIV Research at the 17th Annual Network Meeting

Despite the threat of a Mount Agung eruption, around 100 adult and pediatric network investigators, TREAT Asia staff, and program partners gathered for the 17th TREAT Asia Network Annual Meeting October 12–14, in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting provided opportunities to review the network’s HIV research accomplishments, collectively plan for future initiatives, and consider continued challenges to regional HIV research and responses.

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Over the past year, the network implemented 21 adult, pediatric, and adolescent research studies addressing HIV clinical and treatment outcomes, drug resistance, coinfections, comorbidities, and cancer. The network also developed or contributed data to 38 abstracts and 34 publications, including a number of IeDEA global analyses.

Highlights of the 17th annual network meeting included:

  • Perspectives on moving from controlling to ending the HIV epidemics of the Asia-Pacific region from Dr. Praphan Phanuphak, Director of the Thai Red Cross Aids Research Centre (TRC-ARC), drawing on his over thirty years of experience leading national and regional research and response efforts. 
  • A debate on whether HIV self-testing should be available to all adults in the region with Dr. Rossana Ditangco of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippines, arguing in favor, and Dr. Man-Po Lee of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, China, making his case against the proposal.
  • A presentation of the latest research on HIV, aging, and mental health by Dr. Reena Rajasuriar of the University of Malaya, Malaysia.
  • A policy perspective on how data and technology are being used to optimize the impact of global HIV programs and characterize the scope of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. by Brian Honermann, from amfAR’s Public Policy Office in Washington, DC.

Dr. Mervyn Silverman, amfAR; Dr. Wingwai Wong, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, TaiwanDr. Mervyn Silverman, amfAR; Dr. Wingwai Wong, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan Research priorities identified in the coming year included mental health, non-communicable diseases, liver cancer, HPV coinfection, amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use, and pregnancy outcomes. The transition from pediatric to adult HIV care, and the management of HIV-infected adolescents were identified as continued key pediatric research priorities.

“The 17th annual network meeting highlighted that the network’s strength remains the collective ability, experience, commitment, and reach of our investigators,” said Dr. Annette Sohn, Director of TREAT Asia. “They enable and motivate us to deliver integrated research, policy, and education activities.”  

Slide presentations from the meeting are available at this link.

Left to right: Meiling Chen, Beijing Ditan Hospital, Beijing, China; Dr. Rossana Arcega Ditangco and Ms. Maram Bartolome Vera Cruz, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Manila, Philippines

View additional photos of the meeting below.