Researchers to Discuss Potential Biomedical Strategies for HIV Prevention

As part of an ongoing series of collaborative community forums, three prominent HIV/AIDS researchers will update the community on potential new HIV prevention strategies at an upcoming community forum on Wednesday, May 19. The event will take place at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn – Vanderbilt at 2613 West End Ave.

Presented by The Association of People With AIDS (TAPWA), the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program, and the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH), “Beyond Condoms 3: A Biomedical HIV Prevention Update” is an opportunity for community members to hear about current HIV research and how the results may lead to new strategies to combat the transmission of HIV.

'Beyond Condoms’ is an opportunity for concerned community members to learn first-hand, from the experts, about cutting edge HIV prevention research,“ said the event’s organizer, Mark Hubbard. The panelists will discuss the most recent HIV vaccine research findings, a new study that will examine the feasibility of using a process of widespread testing and linkage to care with the intention of reducing new infections, and studies using anti-viral medications in HIV-negative persons at high risk to prevent infection. This last area of research, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is expected to yield its first important study results before the end of the year. “As always, we’ve set aside plenty of time for questions from the audience,” Hubbard added.

Each of the guest speakers is an accomplished and recognized researcher in his or her field.

Jeff McConnell, M.A., is Project Director for the Positive Partners Study, a collaborative study conducted by the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at the University of California, San Francisco. The project seeks to determine the possibility of superinfection - that someone already living with HIV could be infected with another strain of the virus. Mr. McConnell is helping to conduct a PrEP clinical trial with a focus on men who have sex with men.

Greg Wilson, M.D., is Co-Investigator with the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program and Director of the Vanderbilt Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Subunit. The program is currently enrolling participants for several trials that are designed to enhance the basic understanding of how an HIV vaccine could work.

An adult infectious disease physician and epidemiologist, Connie Haley, M.D., M.P.H., is the Director of Community TB and HIV Initiatives for the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH). Haley previously served as the Medical Director of the Tuberculosis Elimination Program at the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH). More recently she has been involved in the VIGH’s pursuit of opportunities for research using treatment and linkage to care as a prevention intervention.

“Coming on the heels of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, ‘Beyond Condoms 3’ presents an opportunity to broaden the community’s awareness to include other medically based HIV prevention research,” Hubbard said.

The event is free and open to the public. Dinner and door prizes are included. RSVP at

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