amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

ACATA Adds New Members

Advocates Group Marks End of Successful First Year


February 2006—Marking the end of its first full year, TREAT Asia’s Asian Community for AIDS Treatment and Advocacy (ACATA) welcomed two new members from Cambodia—Moni Pen and Kha Sovannara—at a day-long workshop preceding the annual TREAT Asia Network Meeting in Bangkok in October. Workshop sessions reflected ACATA’s mission of bridging the gap between the scientific and HIV/AIDS communities.

Acata members
ACATA members gather at a celebratory river cruise that concluded the Network Meeting in Bangkok.

A new mentoring program pairing each ACATA member with a TREAT Asia investigator provided additional support to the young treatment advocates. The immediate aim was to give them easy access to medical and scientific expertise that would help them understand the complex discussions of HIV drug resistance that would follow over the next two days. It was hoped, however, that some of the mentoring relationships would continue beyond the network meeting, offering ACATA members ongoing access to medical expertise, support, and guidance.

Workshop participants also discussed the possibility of submitting an abstract to the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August 2006. Members have begun working on a proposal, perhaps for a skills-building workshop for community advocates, which will be refined at the next ACATA meeting in Viet Nam in February 2006.