TREAT Asia Researchers Present at Asia-Pacific HIV Conference
The 2023 Asia-Pacific AIDS & Co-Infections Conference (APACC) in Singapore and online, June 8–10, featured the participation of amfAR’s TREAT Asia program, as well as numerous investigators of the TREAT Asia network.
Communicating how research findings can inform improvements in the care of people impacted by HIV is an essential part of TREAT Asia’s work, and a priority for CHIMERA—an HIV, mental health, and implementation science research training program established by TREAT Asia and Columbia University and supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
At APACC, multiple Fellows in the CHIMERA program presented their research on strengthening linkages to mental health care for people living with HIV, including Meng Li Chong, Dr. Anjanna Kukreja, and Dr. Pui Li Wong, of the University Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia; Drs. Bora Ngauv and Somanythd Chhay Meng, of the National Center for HIV/AIDS Dermatology and STD, Cambodia; Dr. Pongkwan Yimsaard, of King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thailand; and Rena Janamnuaysook, of the Institute of HIV Research and Innovation (IHRI), also in Thailand. In particular, Dr. Wong led a clinical capacity-building session on assessing frailty in aging people living with HIV and also conducted a guided poster tour on abstracts addressing metabolic syndromes, antiretroviral therapy (ART), and comorbidities.
Dr. Jeremy Ross, TREAT Asia’s Director of Research, also spoke about mental health support for people living with HIV at the “HIV Cascade of Care: Closing the Gap” pre-conference on June 7. Dr. Ross highlighted the substantial burden of mental health and substance use disorders among those living with HIV in the region, their impacts on the HIV care cascade and other outcomes, and some key approaches to addressing mental health and substance use disorders.
Notes Dr. Ross: “Mental health and substance use disorders are very common among those living with HIV in the Asia-Pacific region and have potentially negative effects on their HIV and other outcomes, for example suboptimal ART adherence, poorer quality of life, and greater disability….Unless better addressed among populations living with and at risk of HIV infection, mental health and substance use disorders compromise continued HIV treatment cascade gains, the achievement of ‘95-95-95’ targets, and the goal of ‘zero new infections.’”
In addition, TREAT Asia network investigators presented on health outcomes of people living with HIV on ART. Dr. Awachana Jiamsakul, of the Kirby Institute, Australia, presented a poster titled, “HIV Treatment Outcomes After 10 Years on ART in the TREAT Asia Observational Database (TAHOD) and Australian HIV Observational Database (AHOD).” Smita Nimkar, of BJ Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospitals, India, presented the poster “Long-Term Outcomes of Antiretroviral Therapy in Children and Adolescents: The IeDEA Asia-Pacific Cohort.”
For more information about the conference, visit https://academicmedicaleducation.com/meeting/apacc-2023.