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June 20, 2018 - ATN Investigators Play Key Roles at Adherence 2018

Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman and Dr. Patrick Sullivan presenting onstage at Adherence 2018
Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman and Dr. Patrick Sullivan presenting onstage at Adherence 2018

Investigators from the ATN played important roles at the recent Adherence 2018 conference, held June 8-10 in Miami, Florida. The conference is sponsored by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), and this year’s theme was ‘Action to Impact.’

“The meeting is the only annual science conference dedicated to better understanding how to enhance adherence to highly active retroviral therapy (HAART) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), essential components in the global response to controlling the AIDS epidemic,” Dr. Kenneth Mayer, a plenary speaker at the event and an ATN site investigator, said. Dr. Mayer is also the founder, Medical Research Director, and co-chair of the Fenway Health Institute. He presented a plenary at the event on Decreasing Population-level HIV Incidence: The Role of Multifaceted HIV Prevention to discuss the state of the art of PrEP. “One underlying theme of the meeting was the need to develop youth-focused treatment and prevention services,” he said.

Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Dr. Patrick Sullivan (Emory University) presented data related to iTech and other innovative projects. “The 2018 Adherence conference included presentations and discussion of HIV treatment and biomedical prevention adherence research, as well as current behavioral and clinical perspectives within the context of achieving an optimized continuum of HIV care and prevention,” Dr. Hightow-Weidman said. “Researchers from iTech presented on how to move mHealth interventions from pilot and efficacy testing to scale and widespread dissemination.”

Data from of the Center for HIV Educational Studies & Training’s (CHEST) online studies of risk in men who have sex with men were presented by Dr. Jon Rendina, faculty investigator at CHEST. Dr. K. Rivet Amico (University of Michigan) joined a panel discussion on measuring adherence to PrEP. A presentation on the impact of a PrEP training on family planning providers’ HIV prevention counseling was presented by Dr. Jessica Sales (Emory University).

“Adherence to both treatment and prevention remains a critical area for research,” Dr. Hightow-Weidman said. “It is only by ensuring uptake and adherence to scientifically proven, cost-effective, and scalable interventions and prevention strategies that we will see a decline in HIV incidence among the most vulnerable populations in the US who are most affected by, or at greatest risk for, HIV infection.”

See for the program and additional information from the event.