HIV Conference to Explore New Prevention Strategies for Men Who Have Sex with Men

The New York Academy of Sciences and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health convene experts to address the HIV epidemic in gay and bisexual men from scientific and social perspectives, with the aim of creating more effective methods for self-protection.

NEW YORK, November 30, 2012 The New York Academy of Sciences and The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health present a conference on "New Paradigms of Risk and Protection: Understanding the HIV Epidemics among Gay and Bisexual Men," on December 7, 2012. The conference will explore how novel and more effective HIV prevention programs for men who have sex with men (MSM) could help to hamper epidemics, which are expanding in low, middle, and high income countries, among this population.

Interestingly, biological, network, and social/structural factors combine for MSM and lead to more rapid and efficient HIV spread in their communities; individual risk behaviors for HIV infection contribute only modestly to these dynamics. This makes HIV epidemics among this group fundamentally different from other groups at risk.

"We are beginning to understand why new HIV infections continue to rise among gay, bisexual and other MSM despite tremendous advances in treatment and prevention. We now have the tools to make real headway in reducing new infections among these men—but it will take targeted use of resources, new science, community engagement, and political will to see real change," says Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, Director, Johns Hopkins Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program; Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health & Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Speakers, including special guest Thomas Farley, MD, MPH, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will explore current prevention tools and the policy reforms and structural changes key to expanding coverage and reaching men with culturally competent care.

In addition to expanding testing and treatment of HIV-positive men, stepping up risk prevention of HIV-negative men through the use of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), the development of a rectal microbicide, and increased access to and coverage for condoms and condom-compatible lubricant are all methods that will be discussed at the conference.

The conference will also highlight biologically based efforts, focused on the delivery of effective interventions, to address each gap in the testing-to-treatment cascade, and ensure safe and affirming spaces for prevention, treatment, and care.

For more information, visit www.nyas.org/HIVinMSM.

Media must RSVP to Diana Friedman (dfriedman@nyas.org; 212.298.8645).


About the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
As a leading international authority on public health, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is dedicated to protecting health and saving lives. Every day, the Bloomberg School works to keep millions safe from illness and injury by pioneering new research, deploying its knowledge and expertise in the field, and educating tomorrow's scientists and practitioners in the global defense of human life. Founded in 1916 as part of the Johns Hopkins University, the Bloomberg School of Public Health is the world's oldest and largest independent school of public health. www.jhsph.edu.

 


About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With 25,000 members in 140 countries, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.