Welcome to HIV Research for Prevention 2014 (HIV R4P), the first global scientific meeting focused exclusively on the challenging and rapidly evolving field of biomedical HIV prevention research.
HIV R4P ushers in a new era in prevention science. This meeting builds on the best elements of the vaccine and microbicides meetings, and adds the latest research on an ever-expanding array of HIV prevention approaches and technologies. HIV R4P reflects the growing consensus that understanding, analyzing and debating the crosscutting issues that impact every field of biomedical prevention research will be central to our shared efforts to defeat this global epidemic.
Across this conference week, daily plenary sessions, 30 oral abstract and two poster sessions, along with satellites, symposia, roundtables, and networking lunches, will address the most compelling issues in the field—from the latest research on vaccines, microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis and treatment as prevention, to emerging prevention approaches and the challenges of implementation and access.
HIV R4P has also been designed to represent the contributions and address the needs of attendees from every field of research, and to include the unique perspectives of advocates, funders, policy-makers and private-sector leaders as well. Interaction, discussion and debate—between participants and across disciplines—will be a hallmark of R4P. To facilitate the full representation of global expertise at the meeting, 300 full and partial scholarships have been granted to leading researchers and advocates who otherwise would be unable to attend the conference.
This first biennial HIV R4P conference takes place at a critical moment in the epidemic. The search for effective biomedical HIV prevention options has progressed further and faster in recent years than at any time since the epidemic began. At the same time, we face multiple obstacles—from the challenges of providing real and sustainable access to prevention advances, to the realities of tightening budgets and the advent of laws and policies criminalizing the very lives of people at risk. Whatever our field of expertise, our efforts to reverse this epidemic must include a commitment not only to advance the science of HIV prevention, but also to support robust global responses to the epidemic and the full human rights of all people impacted by HIV.
We encourage you to break out of your conference comfort zone this week, to investigate new areas of research, and to participate in the Q&A sessions that will be part of every R4P session. We believe that interaction between fields of research, and maximizing the lessons of our shared experiences, will bring us closer to a world without AIDS. With your participation, we hope to make HIV R4P an important step on that shared journey!