TREAT Asia Network members and partners in Bangkok
“To have reached our 15th year is a major accomplishment that has been made possible by our investigators, partners, and donors,” said Dr. Annette Sohn, director of TREAT Asia, at the TREAT Asia Annual Network Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, in October. “TREAT Asia’s scope and depth of work have evolved since our early years, but our primary mission to improve the quality and implementation of HIV care and research being done in the Asia-Pacific remains the same.”
Meeting participants from across the region and around the world gathered to hear updates on the network’s research, education, and advocacy accomplishments, and to discuss the agenda for the year ahead. They attended sessions on the TREAT Asia adult (TAHOD) and pediatric (TApHOD) cohort databases and discussed several exciting new research and outreach projects for 2016. Dr. Nicolas Durier, TREAT Asia’s director of research, presented a new network study investigating resistance to second-line antiretroviral treatment (ART) among adults, the data from which will then be used to advocate for wider availability of third-line ART across the region.
A study led by investigators at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital will assess the safety and efficacy of switching children from efavirenz-based ART regimens to those with rilpivirine, which have been shown to have fewer adverse side effects and could potentially improve adherence among young people. Other presentations covered network studies on non-communicable diseases and HIV, smoothly transitioning adolescents from pediatric to adult healthcare, and novel strategies using the Internet and social media to improve HIV outreach among men who have sex with men and transgender individuals.
In addition, participants discussed holding a think tank in January 2016 on unmet adult HIV care needs in the region, and heard about some promising HIV cohort and tuberculosis research being conducted by TREAT Asia partner B.J. Medical College in Pune, India, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University.
Special guest speakers Dr. Thanyawee Puthanakit from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and Dr. Victor Valcour from the University of California, San Francisco, talked about the impact of aging on adolescents and adults living with HIV, and Dr. Nittaya Phanuphak from SEARCH/Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre provided an update on Thailand’s innovative “test and treat” programs, aiming to help bring an end to AIDS in the country by 2030.
“2016 will be yet another exciting year for the TREAT Asia network, with continuation of a rich set of core long-term observational research studies and the initiation of several new studies and activities addressing the evolving needs in HIV care in the region,” said Dr. Durier.
View photos of the event below.