amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Congressional Briefing Highlights Prevention Breakthroughs

amfAR Briefing Logo large

March 10, 2011—Recent scientific advances and a renewed commitment to reaching those most at risk have helped bring about a critical turning point in the effort to prevent new HIV infections, agreed participants at a March 9 amfAR-sponsored Congressional briefing.

Encouraging results from studies of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP (a daily pill to prevent infection), microbicides (topical gels), and potential vaccines offer hope that biomedical strategies may soon be added to the prevention arsenal. In the U.S., the National HIV/AIDS Strategy is providing a framework for scaling up and targeting effective community interventions in at-risk populations.

Fenton Blumenthal Collins
Dr. Kevin Fenton of the CDC with Dr. Susan Blumenthal, amfAR’s senior policy and medical
advisor, and Chris Collins, vice president and
director of public policy.

The panelists, who included biomedical and socio-behavioral researchers, public health officials, and advocates, emphasized the importance of employing multiple strategies in order to stem the tide of new infections. “AIDS cannot be adequately addressed just through technologies,” noted Susan Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A., amfAR’s senior medical and policy advisor, who moderated the briefing.  “We also need to employ behavioral science, and we need to address the discrimination, stigma, and human rights issues that are driving the epidemic worldwide.”

An amfAR issue brief released at the meeting and titled Accelerating an HIV Prevention Revolution: A Roadmap details the full range of current and potential prevention strategies and offers policy recommendations for moving the field forward.  (The issue brief was subsequently updated in July 2011.)

In a series of video interviews, several panelists who participated in the briefing shared their perspectives on new biomedical and sociobehavioral strategies that are helping to revolutionize HIV prevention.


Click here to read the press release about the briefing.

Panelists’ presentations from the briefing are available below.



Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A.
Senior Policy and Medical Advisor, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
Former Assistant Surgeon General of the United States

Chris Collins, M.P.P.
Vice President and Director of Public Policy, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Panel 1: HIV/AIDS Prevention Overview: A Roadmap

Willard Cates, Jr., M.D., M.P.H.
President, Research, FHI
HIV Prevention Technologies Overview 

Ron Stall, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Chair, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
HIV Prevention in MSM: Lessons Learned to Fuel Future Progress  

Panel 2: New Advances in Prevention Technologies

Robert Grant, M.D., M.P.H.
Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco
Protocol Chair, iPrEx clinical study
PrEP Clinical Trials Results and Future Directions for a Prevention Pill 

Zeda Rosenberg, Sc.D.
CEO, International Partnership for Microbicides
New Directions in Microbicide Research 

Barney S. Graham, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Clinical Trials Core; Chief, Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory Vaccine Research Center
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH
New Frontiers in HIV Vaccine Development 

John T. McDevitt, Ph.D.
Brown-Wiess Professor of Bioengineering and Chemistry, Rice University
Bio-Nano-Chip Technologies for HIV Prevention and Management  

Panel 3: Prevention Strategies and Policy Implications

Robert H. Remien, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies
New York State Psychiatric Institute
Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
Behavior Change Prevention Strategies 

Don Des Jarlais, Ph.D.
Director of Research, Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute
Beth Israel Medical Center
Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology and Public Health
Albert Einstein School of Medicine
Harm Reduction in the US and Globally 

Emily Bass
Program Director, AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention
HIV Prevention Policy Issues and Perspectives

Panel 4: Putting Prevention into Practice

Carl Dieffenbach, Ph.D.
Director, Division of AIDS
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH
Innovative Community Models for HIV Prevention 

Grant Colfax, M.D.
Director, HIV Prevention and Research
San Francisco Department of Public Health
HIV Prevention and Mapping Community Viral Load 

Paul Meyer, J.D.
Chairman and President, Voxiva Inc.
HIV Prevention 2.0: Applying New Media

Panel 5: Moving Forward: Federal and Global Actions

Kevin Fenton, M.D., Ph.D., F.F.P.H.
Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD & TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Scaling Up HIV Prevention in the U.S.

Paul De Lay, M.D.
Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS
Scaling Up HIV Prevention Worldwide