U.S. and French scientists presented a satellite session Monday, July 21, 2014, at the International AIDS meeting in Melbourne, Australia. NIDA AIDS Research Program Director Jacques Normand, Ph.D., and Jean-François Delfraissy, M.D., Ph.D., director of Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida et les hépatitis virales (ANRS), co-chaired the meeting, which focused on drug use, HIV, and hepatitis C (HCV). NIDA grantee Don C. Des Jarlais, Ph.D., Mount Sinai Beth Israel, presented a global overview on the general context of research on HIV/HCV infection and drug use. Another NIDA grantee, Shruti H. Mehta, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, reported on HCV among people who inject drugs in India. Other speakers addressed treatment and access to treatment in low- and middle-income countries, global health policy and the position of international organizations and the United Nations, the role of harm reduction in HCV prevention in France, injecting drug use and HIV-HCV infections in Dakar, Senegal, and a partnership studying people who inject drugs in Vietnam.
Françoise Barré-Sinousi, Ph.D., president of the International AIDS Society (IAS), joined Drs. Normand and Delfraissy to award NIDA-IAS-ANRS Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in HIV and Drug Use to five researchers. The fellowship provides 18 months of postdoctoral training with a mentor who is an expert in the fields of HIV and drug abuse research. The new fellows are:
- Nicholas Peter Fraser Thomson, Ph.D., Australia, who will identify and evaluate the impact of partnerships between law enforcement and HIV programs on HIV and HCV incidence and risk behaviors among people who use drugs in selected high-priority countries across South, Southeast, and Central Asia. His mentor is Chris Beyrer, M.D., Johns Hopkins University.
- Trupti Ishwar Gilada, M.D., India, who will study the effect of alcohol and substance abuse disorders on viral and host events during early HIV infection, including genital viral load decay, transmitted drug resistance, and host inflammatory markers. Her mentor is Ann C. Duerr, M.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
- Mojtaba Habibi Asgharabad, Ph.D., Iran, who will examine the role of global neurocognitive function by comparing risky decision-making learning among individuals who abuse methamphetamine and have either acute and early or chronic HIV infection. His mentor is David Moore, Ph.D., University of California San Diego.
- Andrew Guise, Ph.D., United Kingdom, who will conduct a qualitative study of implementing methadone for HIV prevention and treatment in Kenya. His mentor is Steffanie Strathdee, Ph.D., University of California San Diego.
- Ernest Tafara Chivero, Ph.D., Zimbabwe, who will investigate the roles of the HIV Tat gene and cocaine-mediated modulation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate in neuroAIDS. His mentor is Shilpa Buch, Ph.D., University of Nebraska Medical Center.