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STI, HIV, AIDS, TB, conferences of this month

7 August, 2015

WORLD STI & AIDS CongressThe Joint World STI & HIV & ASHM Congress starts on Sunday 13 September 2015 at the Brisbance Convention Centre! That’s today (in local time)!!! It is the first time the International Society for STD Research (ISSTDR) will be holding their biennial meeting downunder, so it’s an exciting time for researchers working below the equator. HIV and AIDSThe World STI & HIV Congress will be held from the 13th to 16th of September and the Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference, hosted by the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (AHSM), will be held from the 16th to 18th of September. I will be blogging about the event throughout the week.

The Joint STI & HIV & ASHM Congress comes hot off the heels of the Asia Pacific Region TB Union conference and the TB Control Symposium held in Sydney earlier this month. Notable speakers included Dr Mario Raviglione from the World Health Organisation, Dr Dick Menzies and Dr Marcel Behr from McGill University, Dr Becky Freeman from the University of Sydney, Dr Lee Reichman from the Global Tuberculosis Institute, Dr Steve Graham talking about TB in children, Dr Emma McBryde from the Burnet Institute, Dr Kerri Viney from the Australian National University, and Professor Philip Hill from Otago University among many, many, many more. A whole host of wonderful clinicians and researchers from the Asia Pacific region were in attendance. It was great to meet them! Anthropologists would be particularly interested in the work of Dr Peter Massey and Mrs Rowena Asugeni from Atoifi Health Research who take a fantastic community approach to TB research in the Solomon Islands. In fact, anthropologists would be pleased to know how welcome we are to contribute to tuberculosis research, care and prevention. Every TB researcher I met wanted more social scientists in the room.

 

11667916_10153668810550087_1392263524_nThe APR TB Union conference also boasted a fantastic series of workshops. Professor Angus Dawson, Dr Jed Horner and I coordinated a workshop on TB and Human Rights which stimulated a friendly and energetic meeting of minds The poster sessions were also an exciting setting for lively discussion. Dr Menzies certainly asked me insightful questions about our coping self-efficacy scale for TB patients in Vietnam. With a fast-paced morning-to-evening lineup of first class speakers, the conference also managed to get important political traction with the Honourable Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaking strongly about the need to tackle TB throughout the region. Earlier in the year she announced $30 million funding to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis. The tweets from the conference were archived by eventifier.

Some of the same faces from the APR TB Union conference will be showing up in Brisbane this week, particularly because TB/HIV co-infection is such a problematic issue! The Joint World STI & HIV & ASHM Congress is set to be a big, big event! Delegates will be treated to the latest national statistics for HIV and STIs in Australia, information about vaccine developments for STIs, and the latest knowledge about drug resistant STIs. Also, Professor Robert Grant, one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012, will be talking about PrEP, a revolutionary HIV prevention drug. Other speakers of note include Edwina Wright from the Burnett Institute, Mark Boyd from the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM), Myron Cohen from the University of North Carolina, Helen Rees and Sami Gottlieb from the WHO, Basil Donovan and Rebecca Guy from the Kirby Institute, Ian Frazer from the Translational Research Institute, Jane Hocking from the Centre for Women’s Health, Gender and Society, Nicola Low from the University of Bern, Helen Ward from Imperial College London, Jeff Klausner from UCLA, James Ward from SAHMRI, Nathan Ryder from Hunter New England Health, and David Whiley from the Royal Children’s Hospital QLD, to name but a few.

The twitter hashtags to watch out for this week are:

@ASHMMedia
#worldSTI2015
#AUSHIVAIDS2015

On a completely unrelated note, the answers to Marvin’s Hangman, or should I say Hang Robot, on the DVD of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are: MICE, FISH, BOOK, HOME, LIFE, STAR.

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