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HIV experts deliberate on research

- By Vivienne Rowland

The second African-Canadian partnership for capacity building on HIV clinical trial and Intervention research (Afri-Can2) Annual Forum is currently underway in Johannesburg, bringing together academics and researchers from across the globe deliberating on HIV/AIDS research.

Hosted and co-chaired by Dr. Janan Dietrich from the Perinatal HIV Research Unit at Wits, the Forum brings together about seven Afri-Can research teams in Africa, including the Canada-Africa Prevention Trials (CAPT) and CanSSA networks in South Africa, who are funded by the Canadian Global Health Research Initiative, working to develop the ability of African researchers and research institutions to carry out randomised controlled trial, coordinate a successful prevention trial research and strengthening capacity for intervention research in collaboration with Canadian scientists.  

The Forum, taking place at the Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre in Fourways until 18 February 2015, was officially opened on Monday, 16 February 2015, during a ceremony consisting of a discussion about the progress and stages of current HIV/AIDS research.

Dr Zukisa Pinini, Chief Director: HIV and AIDS and STI’s in the South African Department of Health, delivered the opening presentation, after which she chaired a presentation by Dr Kenneth Ngure from the Jomo Kenyatta University and the Kenya Medical Research Institute on The State of HIV Clinical Trials PrEP

Professor Glenda Gray, President of the Medical Research Council of South Africa, Co-Principal Investigator of the HIV Vaccines Trials Network (HVTN) and Director of the HVTN’s International Programmes, shared the podium and followed up with a presentation titled Vaccines: A life saving technology – why are they so hard to develop and where are we with HIV vaccines?

The panel discussion was preceded by an opening address from Louise Holt, Director for Kenya and South African development in the Canadian High Commission. Listen to Holt.

In this year’s forum, participants from the teams in the different African regions will evaluate and jointly build on their achievements and share best practices and opportunities for collaboration in HIV intervention research and treatment.  

View the programme.