The New York Academy of Sciences commemorates this year's World AIDS Day (Saturday, December 1) by taking a detailed look at the latest HIV/AIDS research. As the search for a cure enters its third decade, momentum is building toward the development of an effective HIV vaccine. However, 8,000 people still die of AIDS every day, while millions more with HIV may lose a third of their life spans. In the words of President Obama on World AIDS Day 2011, "We are going to win this fight. But the fight is not over."
The Academy presents a collection of resources that represent our dedication to promoting research that has an impact on the worldwide AIDS epidemic, with the goal of one day achieving an "AIDS-free generation."
Friday, December 7, 2012 | 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Rates of HIV infection are on the rise in low, middle, and high income countries, including in the US. Learn how biological, network, and social/structural factors combine to lead to more rapid HIV spread among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
In this eBriefing, researchers present work on the roles of neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies in protecting against HIV, including a spirited mock debate over whether the first FDA-approved HIV vaccine will be a neutralizing or non-neutralizing antibody vaccine.
HIV-infected people treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) live longer and are less likely to develop AIDS than those not receiving therapy. They have lower viral burdens and often their immune systems recover at least in part. In spite of this success, however, many patients continue to develop progressive neurological symptoms, albeit milder ones, at the same rates as patients in the pre-HAART era. Five to ten percent of HIV-infected people end up with some degree of dementia.
In spite of extensive scientific understanding of how the HIV-1 virus infects people, the prospects for an effective preventive vaccine remain unclear, because the immune correlates of protection are not known. Nevertheless a recent trial that showed a modest positive result in preventing acquisition has fuelled considerable enthusiasm amongst researchers and the broader community.
This eBriefing covers a range of issues facing researchers working towards the development of an HIV / AIDS vaccine. This includes epidemiological challenges and developments in HIV virology and immunology incorporating ex vivo and in vivo imaging of viruses crossing the mucosal barrier, the latest in the search for HIV vaccines, HIV microbicides and PreP (taking into account results from international trials), and an update on HIV-reactivating factor.
HIV/AIDS; Swine flu; and Autism
This collection includes scholarly summaries of two discussion groups that took place at the New York Academy of Sciences, "HIV/AIDS: Vaccines and Alternative Strategies for Treatment and Prevention" and "H1N1 Swine Flu: The 2010 Perspective," and of a conference that took place at Hunter College in New York City, the "23rd Annual International Symposium of the Center for the Study of Gene Structure and Function."
A future generation of children with HIV can be prevented now by delivering known interventions on more economical, society-specific levels. The summary proceedings offer international health agencies' working models of culture-sensitive, realistic intervention programs for countries most at risk.
Science reporter Alan Dove spoke with Seth Berkley, an MD specializing in infectious disease epidemiology and international health who is the president and founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in lower Manhattan.