The President has committed to supporting a National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) that is “grounded in the best science.” Scientific research efforts have greatly expanded our understanding of HIV/AIDS and produced a large number of critical tools and interventions to help us diagnose, prevent, and treat HIV. The past year has been particularly productive with important scientific advances in the area of treatment as prevention, among others.
These findings, and many others yet to come, are essential to our HIV/AIDS work and we cannot achieve the vision of the NHAS without continued and sustained progress in biomedical, behavioral, and social science. Nor can we afford to neglect the policy, operational and social questions that often emerge as a result of new research findings.
To learn more about rapidly evolving fields of HIV/AIDS research, I will be attending—along with colleagues from HHS, including Dr. Andrew Forsyth, Senior Science Advisor in the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy—the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) from March 5-8, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. CROI is a scientifically focused meeting of the world’s leading researchers working to understand, prevent, treat– and ultimately cure — HIV/AIDS and its complications. The goal of CROI is to provide a forum for translating laboratory and clinical research into progress against the AIDS epidemic. Over 4,000 leading researchers and clinicians from around the world convene in a different location each year for the Conference.
I hope you will have an opportunity to read this blog next week, as I look forward to sharing some of the important information being discussed. The conversation at CROI will be a tantalizing preview of the important research findings and policy issues that will be discussed at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, this summer.