amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

A Jewel in amfAR's Crown

amfAR CEO Praises TREAT Asia at 11th Annual Network Meeting

The eleventh annual TREAT Asia Network Meeting brought together leading scientists, clinicians, and advocates from across the region to reflect on the past year's work and strategize about next steps in the network's fight against AIDS in Asia. Taking place in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from 9-13 November, the meeting included workshops on the adult and pediatric HIV observational research databases as well as studies to evaluate HIV drug resistance.

Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman from Malaysia at the2011 TREAT Asia Network Meeting

TREAT Asia Director Dr. Annette Sohn provided a summary of the program's progress in 2011. "Our network right now is the largest it has been in the history of the program, with 21 adult sites, 22 pediatric sites, and 17 laboratory sites," she reported.

Dr. Sohn also noted that a key accomplishment in 2011 was the five-year renewal of funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support TREAT Asia's role as the regional representative to the International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA). Dr. Gerald Sharp of the NIH later presented an overview of IeDEA and discussed the potential for global linkages between TREAT Asia and other IeDEA regions.

Throughout the meeting, participants heard research and education updates from across the region, such as presentations on acute HIV infection in Thailand from Dr. Jintanat Ananworanich, sensitivity training for providers working with men who have sex with men (MSM) in Indonesia from Dr. Evy Yunihastuti, and a study of tuberculosis in Taiwan from Dr. Arthur Chen. Additionally, amfAR's Vice President and Director of Public Policy Chris Collins joined the meeting to present on global HIV/AIDS policy issues. He identified access to medicines, harm reduction, and country ownership as potential policy concerns in the Asia-Pacific region.

TREAT Asia network members, Dr. Yi-Ming Arthur Chen from Taiwan and Dr. Chung Ki Patrick Li from Hong Kong, with amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost

A recurring theme during the meeting was the desire to turn the network's research findings into a solid evidence base that might be used to influence funding patterns, HIV-related policy, and standards of clinical care in the region. Looking forward, meeting participants identified future priorities for the network, including addressing questions of how best to quantify its impact and strategically communicate its findings to target audiences.

Speaking at the meeting, amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost said, "I am happy that amfAR can continue to see TREAT Asia as a real jewel in the crown of our programs."