For immediate release
Ottawa (April 10, 2019) — Organizers of the 28th Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research – to be held in Saskatoon from May 9 to 12 – launched the official conference program today. The conference, led by the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR), will bring together more than 700 of Canada’s top scientists, physicians, and community leaders, and will include four major plenary presentations focusing on the paramount issues facing the global HIV/AIDS response.
The conference co-chairs – Dr. Alexandra King, Cameco Chair in Indigenous Health (University of Saskatchewan), and Dr. Linda Chelico, Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (University of Saskatchewan) and a co-lead of the Saskatchewan HIV/AIDS Research Endeavor (SHARE) – selected the theme “Wuniska” for this year’s event.
“For CAHR 2019, we have made our community members central to the conference,” said Drs. King and Chelico. “The theme, Wuniska (a Cree and Saulteaux word that means wake up, awaken, arise, wake up and rise) was gifted to us by the Saskatchewan Health Authority Patient/Family Advisory Committee for HIV/AIDS, which is composed of predominantly First Nations and Métis people with lived HIV experience. We listened to what they felt was important to address in this conference. This is because even though 16% of Saskatchewan’s population self-identify as Indigenous, they represent 79% of the persons newly diagnosed with HIV in the province.”
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:
- “New Strategies for HIV Eradication” (Dr. Guido Silvestri, Emory University)
- “Hepatitis C in HIV-Coinfection on Its Way to Microelimination: Which Challenges Remain?” (Dr. Jürgen Rockstroh, University of Bonn)
- “Challenging Assumptions About the HIV Pandemic in 2019” (Dr. Stefan Baral, Johns Hopkins)
- “In this Moment of Reconciliation, We as Researchers Must Remember, It’s Not About Us!” (Dr. Sean Hillier, York University)
The conference opening will include:
- The Mark Wainberg Lecture, this year given by Mark Tyndall, Professor, UBC School of Population and Public Health
- The 2019 Red Ribbon Award (which is presented annually by CAHR for outstanding service to the cause of research in HIV/AIDS) will be presented to Trevor Stratton, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network
- Recognizing the winners of the 2019 CAHR-CANFAR Excellence in Research Awards:
- Basic Sciences: Dr. Blake Ball (National Laboratory for HIV Immunology / National HIV & Retrovirology Laboratories / JC Wilt Infectious Disease Research Center / Public Health Agency of Canada)
- Clinical Sciences: Dr. Kelly O’Brien (University of Toronto)
- Epidemiology-Public Health: Dr. Sharmistha Mishra (St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto)
- Social Sciences: Dr. Trevor Hart (Ryerson University)
- Community-Based Research: The 33 PRAs of Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS)
The Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research is held each year in a different city across Canada. “As co-chairs, we felt that it was important to assemble a Scientific Committee of people predominantly from Saskatchewan” said Drs. King and Chelico. “In 2010, only two of the 12 committee members were from Saskatchewan. This year, 11 of the 13 committee members are from Saskatchewan, and the other two are from our neighbouring prairie provinces. This alone demonstrates the increased capacity that the province has to conduct HIV/AIDS research and support our community members.”
In addition, the conference will host a number of special sessions on topics such as: the search for an HIV Cure; the role of Peer Research Associates; co-infections’ PrEP use among those who inject drugs’ and innovative solutions by and for Indigenous People.
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It is estimated that 34 million people are living with HIV. In Canada, HIV remains a pressing issue with an estimated 2,300 to 4,300 new infections each year, with certain populations over-represented in the epidemic. Over 70,000 Canadians are currently living with HIV, and many more are at risk of being infected.
The conference will be held at the TCU Place in Saskatoon.
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. www.cahr-acrv.ca
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: Jay Strauss, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 905-325-8717