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ASHM News Special Conference Edition

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With only 2 weeks to go until the premier conference on HIV & AIDS in Australasia we thought we would give you a quick overview of some of the key activities and highlights.

With only 2 weeks to go until the premier conference on HIV and AIDS in Australasia, we thought we would give you an overview of some of the key activities and highlights.

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Why You Should Attend 

You can follow the conference on Twitter with #AUSHIVAIDS2015

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ASHM Members get a discounted registration rate.

Enter you code ASHMMEM2015 when you register to get the reduced rate.

Not attending? If you are not attending the conference this year, please complete this quick survey to tell us why. Thank you. SURVEY LINK

Program Highlights

The latest detailed program is available on the conference website.

Theme A will highlight:

  • HIV replication and its relationship to transmission and disease progression

  • HIV cellular reservoir during antiretroviral therapy

  • The effect of concurrent infections, ageing and inflammation on the HIV reservoir

  • Gene therapy approaches to a cure for HIV

  • Understanding CCR5 expression on CD4 T cells and inhibition of HIV entry

  • Novel approaches to inhibiting HIV replication and reducing HIV burden

Theme B Highlights: 

There have been major developments in HIV management and the 2015 ASHM Conference in Brisbane will highlight these exciting changes and cover the evidence behind them.

In terms of initiating ART, the START study has been a definitive landmark in guiding clinicians and people with HIV on when to start. Guidelines for what regimens to start have changed significantly this year.

PrEP and it's role in preventing new HIV infections as well as ways of preventing HIV transmission will be addressed. There have been breakthroughs in the treatment of hepatitis C and the whole field of managing blood bourne viruses is rapidly changing. There will be a session on ending hepatitis C as well as a plenary lecture on the newer therapies for hepatitis C.

Newer drugs for managing HIV will covered as well as the co-morbidities which are an increasing issue as our cohort of people with HIV in Australia increases with age. The conference will also cover the best ways of managing HIV and HIV in different populations.

Professor Robert Grant - Coordinated by the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine; the HIV Foundation Queensland, Victorian AIDS Council and AIDS Council of New Sew South Wales who have joint sponsored the attendance of Professor Bob Grant, the world renowned researcher and lead scientist in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to present at the conferences in Brisbane before visiting Sydney and Melbourne.
 
Wednesday 16 Sept: 5.20 – 6.45pm - Panel Discussion - Find me, Treat me, PrEP me, Heal me (Courtesy of Tommy).  If we are really going to significantly impact new infections and stop these then we need to get prevention and early treatment in tandem. This panel session will explore these issues. 

Thursday 17 Sept
: 2:00 – 3.30pm - ASHM International Session
This session will focus on challenges and opportunities in point of care diagnostics and assays for HIV and management in resource limited settings in the Asia and Pacific regions.  Presenters will outline pertinent issues for optimal use of new and cost effective technologies and innovative opportunities for their further development and scaling up in often challenging settings. Barriers and benefits will be described and discussed.

Thursday 17 Sept
: ARV Guidelines sessions  - When to start and What to start
This session will feature presentations from Jenny Hoy, Julian Elliott, James McMahon and Mark Boyd.  An additional ARV Guidelines session will be held this year on Friday 18 September and will focus on PrEP including Bob Grant as a keynote speaker.   

Friday 18 Sept
:  3.30 – 5.00pm - ASHM International Division Satellite Session
This session will present the strategic priorities of ASHM's International Division and especially consider the changing socio-economic context of countries in the region and diminishing external funding available to them for their HIV, viral hepatitis and sexual health responses.  Examples of the work of ASHM in the international sector including clinical mentoring, training and guidelines development will be explored but also the emerging need and role for greater engagement of professional societies and organisations in ensuring quality service delivery through standards setting, guidelines development and continuing medical education.
One focus will be the strengthening of a Regional Professional Societies Network consisting of professional societies and associations from across the Asia and Pacific Regions including more details on a 1st Regional Assembly,  15-17 January 2016, Bangkok (see info below).

AFAO Community and Advocacy Hub: call for community videos and posters
The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) will once again be hosting a Community and Advocacy Hub at the 2015 Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference. The Hub is a dynamic community space which will highlight programs, services and key focus areas for organisations involved in Australia's community response to HIV. The Hub will also feature a selection of HIV/STI-related short films and health promotion resources from community organisations working across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

AFAO is pleased to invite community organisations and groups to submit short films and posters for display. Expression of interest should be sent to Finn O'Keefe at AFAO by 31 August. Email: fokeefe@afao.org.au.au  or for further information see: http://bit.ly/1DQVIN3
 

Education / Membership / Other Activities

ASHM Annual General Meeting:  12.30pm, Thursday 17 Sept at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre – All ASHM Members are encouraged to attend.

ASHM Booth:  ASHM and ASHA will have a booth in the exhibition hall throughout the conferences.

Drop in for an update on the latest resources, training, policy, capacity-building and advocacy work underway nationally and within our region and to meet ASHM Project Staff involved in all program areas.

Treatment of hepatitis C with Direct Acting Antivirals: Training for HIV prescribers:
Saturday 19 Sept (following the HIV & AIDS Conference) at Novotel: 200 Creek Street, Brisbane QLD
Control and Elimination within AuStralia of HEpatitis C from people living with HIV (CEASE)
This one-day course is designed for current HIV prescribers in order up-skill the primary care-based practitioner workforce in the current assessment and treatment of HCV infection, with a focus on HIV-HCV co-infected individuals, to enable rapid scale-up of interferon-free therapy with direct acting antivirals (DAA) for HCV.

See flyer with more information
To attend this training, register here. 

Social Program Highlights

2015 ASHA Social Networking Even:t Monday 14 Sept at 6–8 pm - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
You are warmly invited to attend the 2015 ASHA social networking event 'Coming Together: Getting to know ASHA and each other' at the World STI & HIV Congress! Come together to meet and mingle with your colleagues from across our diverse range of interdisciplinary organisations. Drinks and canapés will be served. Registration details can be found on the ASHA website.

World STI & HIV Congress Dinner - To be held at Brisbane's iconic City Hall on the evening of Wednesday 16 Sept.  This is an event not to be missed where you can enjoy the end of the first day of the ASHM Conference and meet with colleagues.  Dinner, beverages and entertainment included.  Tickets must be booked in advance when you register or you can contact the secretariat

Social Media and Conference App

Keep up-to-date and connect with others before, during and after the conference with a range of communication options.  Tweet about the conference and your favourite sessions and speakers using the conference hashtags #AUSHIVAIDS2015 and  #WorldSTI2015

The conference app is the best way to stay informed during both conferences. You will be able to:

  • View the program by time or session, read the abstracts, create your own schedule, make notes and let others know what you think about the session by sharing it on twitter

  • Search for speakers you really want to see, read their bio and see what presentations they are giving throughout both conferences

  • View a list of all the sponsors and exhibitors and check where their booth is located

  • Never get lost again with our interactive maps

  • Interact with social media through Twitter and Facebook. Or even send a direct message to that person you've been trying to pin down for a meeting

  • Asking questions during presentations has never been made easier. Simply go to the presentation, scroll down to 'Session Engagement' and select 'Ask a Question'           

REGISTER NOW for the Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference

Not attending? If you are not attending the conference this year, please complete this quick survey to tell us why. Thank you. SURVEY LINK

Other Conference News

Scholarships for CROI – The ASHM Scholarship Program has opened opportunities for scholarships to CROI, only if you are submitting an abstract.  Visit the ASHM website to submit an application.
 
4th International Symposium on Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU 2015) – 7-9 October 2015, Manly, Sydney.  This symposium is the leading International conference focused on the management of hepatitis among substance users. For more information visit www.inhsu.com 
 
2015 APSAD Scientific Alcohol and Drug Conference – 8-11 November 2015, Perth.  This year's conference will be in collaboration with WA Drug and Alcohol Office, who bring a strong track record of attracting speakers and participants from across the alcohol and other drugs sector to conferences, together with APSAD's record of presenting the cutting edge research evidence and delivering engaging local and international presenters.  The conference will address a diverse range of issues including co-existing mental health and drug problems, aetiology, policy innovations, emerging psychoactive substances, responding to First Peoples' needs and addressing drug related harms.  For more information visit www.aspadconference.com.au

1st Assembly of the Regional Societies Network on HIV, Viral Hepatitis & Sexual Health will take place from 15-17 January 2016 in Bangkok (immediately after the HIV-NAT Symposium). For more information visit http://www.ashm.org.au/programs/international/regional-societies

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