International AIDS Society pre-meeting calls for new research commitment

21 July 2009 - Cape Town, South Africa, More than 200 people attended a pre-meeting to the International AIDS Society (IAS) meeting entitled, Catalysing HIV/TB Research: Innovation, Funding, and Networking. Participants included people living with HIV, activists and researchers, including NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and Nobel Laureate Françoise Barrè-Sinoussi of the Institut Pasteur. The meeting was organized by WHO and the Stop TB Partnership's TB/HIV Working Group in collaboration with the IAS, the Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS/TB Epidemic, Treatment Action Group and the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre.

The meeting highlighted a new TB vaccine trial begun recently in South Africa and other progress in TB research. But participants pointed to development of a rapid new form of point of care TB diagnosis as a high but unmet research priority.

Still, some spoke of encouraging signs for greater commitment to TB/HIV collaborative activities. "There is clearly much broader support for collaborative TB/HIV programming, research and advocacy than ever before," said Dr Diane Havlir, Chief of the HIV/AIDS Division and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, chair of the Stop TB TB/HIV Working Group and a member of the IAS Governing Council.