We’re Not Done Yet: Leading scientists, community leaders, and policy makers to gather in Montreal to discuss the latest findings in HIV research


For immediate release

Montreal (April 3, 2017) Organizers of the 26th Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research – to be held in Montreal from April 6th to 9th – launched the official conference program today. The conference, led by the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR), will bring together more than 900 of Canada’s top scientists, physicians, and community leaders, and will include five major plenary presentations focusing on the paramount issues facing the global HIV/AIDS response. The Conference co-chairs, Dr. Alexandra de Pokomandy (McGill University Health Centre) and Dr. Hugo Soudeyns (Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine), selected the theme “We’re Not Done Yet” for this year’s event.

“Tremendous successes have been achieved in the fight against HIV-AIDS,” said Dr. de Pokomandy.  “However, people living with HIV, health care workers, community members, and researchers in Canada and elsewhere around the world also agree that many challenges remain and HIV continues to kill. That is why this year’s conference theme is ‘We’re Not Done Yet’.”

This year’s program will present new scientific knowledge on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. Featured plenary sessions will include the following:

  • “Now We Do the Hard Part” (Dr. Laurel Sprague, Global Research Fellow on HIV, Gender and Justice, HIV Justice Network Detroit, USA);
  • “Sterilizing All Infectious HIV-1 in a Cell Culture using CRISPR-Cas9” (Dr. Ben Berkhout, Chair in Human Retrovirology, Laboratory of Experimental Virology, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands);
  • Inflammation and Aging in Treated HIV infection” (Dr. Peter Hunt, Associate Professor of Medicine in Residence, University of California, San Francisco, USA); and
  • “Challenges and Opportunities for Better Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections and STI-related Cancers” (Dr. Ann Burchell, Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada).

“Canadians have made – and continue to make – key contributions to HIV/AIDS research,” said Dr. Soudeyns. “This is reflected in the record number of abstracts (525) that were submitted to CAHR 2017. This impressive scholarly output has allowed us to assemble a scientific program of exceptional quality, richly diverse, and well-balanced. Further, the Conference provides a platform to showcase the leading-edge research that is being undertaken right here in Montreal”.

The Conference opening will include the presentation of two major awards in HIV research:

  • The 2017 Mark Wainberg Lecture (which honours Dr. Wainberg’s ongoing contributions to the field of HIV) will be delivered by Dr. Julie Bruneau from l’ Université de Montréal. Dr. Bruneau is recognized as a leader in the development of addiction medicine in Canada; and
  • The 2017 Red Ribbon Award (which is presented annually by CAHR for outstanding service to the cause of research in HIV/AIDS) which will be presented to Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco (Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Toronto) whose work focuses on HIV research and online dissemination, teaching and learning to maximize the involvement of all research stakeholders especially people living with HIV.

In addition, a number special sessions will take place including: an overview on the latest in HIV vaccine research; an examination of transitioning patients from pediatric to adult care; the latest news in HIV/HCV co-infection; an in-depth review of the HIV cascade of care; a check-in of the status of HIV cure research in Canada; and an update on HIV, Aging and Rehabilitation.

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It is estimated that 34 million people are living with AIDS. In Canada, HIV remains a pressing issue with an estimated 2300 to 4300 new infections each year, with certain populations over-represented in the epidemic. Over 70,000 Canadians are living with HIV, and many more are at risk of being infected.

The conference will be held at the Hotel Bonaventure Montreal.

About CAHR

The Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) is the professional organization for HIV/AIDS research in Canada and by Canadians. CAHR is composed of researchers in all disciplines of HIV/AIDS science, for the purpose of improving prevention and treatment with an ultimate goal of eradication and cure. The annual CAHR conference is the premier gathering in Canada for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic.


See conference website at: http://www.cahr-acrv.ca/conference/

Detailed overview of conference speakers at: http://www.cahr-acrv.ca/conference/program/

Media Accreditation: http://www.cahr-acrv.ca/conference/registration/#med-acc

Contact: Erin Love, Email: Erin.Love@cahr-acrv.ca  Phone: 613-864-5154