2011 Conference



The OHTN 14th Annual Research Conference wrapped November 15. The conference showcased new and emerging HIV/AIDS research findings in basic and clinical science, epidemiology, socio-behavioural, prevention, intervention and community-based research. The conference was a resounding success, bringing together diverse stakeholders to share knowledge and network. The OHTN undertook an exciting new endeavour this year: all the conference plenary sessions were webcast. The OHTN will be webcasting more events in the future to broaden our reach and expand our influence.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 14, 2011


Stopping New Infections: Effective Interventions with Vulnerable Populations


Steven Kurtz
Co-Director, Center for Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities, Nova Southeastern University

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Greg Millett
Senior Behavioral Scientist, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control

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Kate Shannon
Director of the Gender & Sexual Health Initiative, BC Centre for Excellence

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Talking Prevention: Effective Interventions

How can we maximize effective interventions in high risk populations? This research explores prevention interventions with high risk populations and how HIV prevention can be improved.

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Resilience-based Interventions for Highly Vulnerable MSM

Lindsay Chartier & Alyssa Higginson

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HIV Vulnerabilities of Street-Involved Young Men in Toronto

Josephine P. Wong

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Let's Talk About Sex: Exploring Influences on the Sexual Health of Young Racialized Women

Ciann Wilson

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Towards the Improvement of HIV Prevention Services for ACB Communities in Canada

Layla Rich

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Through Her Eyes: Issues, Needs and Priorities of Women with HIV

Although women make up 22% of those infected with HIV, research on women is limited. This session explores women's perspectives on HIV and discusses their research needs and priorities.

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"It's a Normal Pregnancy... other than the HIV Thing" HIV-Related Stigma and the Social Construction of HIV-Positive Women During Pregnancy

Saara Greene & Gladys Kwaramba

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Research for Women through Women's Voices: Women Living with HIV ARticulate their Research Needs and Priorities

Wangari Tharao

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"You don't exist": Understanding the Experience of Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer and Transgendered Women living with HIV in Ontario

Carmen Logie

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Body Image and HIV: Exploring the Stories and HIV-Positive Women

Michelle Gibson

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Stop Stigma. Reduce Risk.

People living with or at risk of HIV may also be coping with stigma and discrimination. In this session, presenters discuss their findings on stigma and how this knowledge may inform prevention strategies.

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Which Factors Affect Whether Trans Ontarians get Tested for HIV?

Greta Bauer

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Racism, Transphobia and HIV-related Sexual Risk Behaviour

Roxanne Longman Marcellin

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Sexual Health Matters: Concerns of HIV+ Youth

Tamara Landry & The Youth Advisory Committee

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Addressing HIV-related Stigma: The Possibilities in Using Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Kenneth Fung

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Cell Count: Mechanisms of Pathogenesis

Presenters discuss monocytic cell development, macrophages and HIV progression.

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Antiapoptotic Bcl-xL Maintains Macrophage Viability During Differentiation, while IAPs Confer Resistance to HIV-Vpr Induced Apoptosis

Aurelia Busca

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CpG-DNA Prevents HIV-Vpr-induced Apoptosis in Human Monocytic Cells in a TLR-9-independent manner

Mansi Saxena

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Th22 cells and HIV Infection: New Insights into HIV Mucosal Pathogenesis

Connie J Kim

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OHTN Strategic Plan to 2015, Dr. Charles Roy Memorial Lecture and Project Remember


Sean B. Rourke, PH.D.
Scientific and Executive Director of OHTN, Professor at University of Toronto
David Hoe
President of OHTN's Board of Director

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James Gillett
Associate Professor, Sociology and Health, Aging and Society
McMaster University

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Mark Fisher
Director of IT, OHTN
Jay Brown
Honorary OHTN Board Member,
Former Coordinator of AIDS programs for Ontario
Frank McGee
Coordinator, AIDS Bureau, Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care

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Reduce Harm, Increase Access

This session explores barriers and issues that shape harm reduction programming for people who use drugs.

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A Need for Gender-specific Harm Reduction Services in Ottawa: Women IDUs Report More Binging on Injection Drugs and Using Previously Used Injection Equipment Compared to Men

Emily Medd

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On the Basis of the Evidence

Lynne LeonarD

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Barriers to Accessing Hepatitis C Treatment for Individuals who have Experience with Injection Drug Use: A Qualitative Exploration

Caitlin Sinclair

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Gender and the Risk Environment for People in Ottawa Who Smoke Crack

Andree Germain

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Getting Older, But Getting Better? Aging with HIV

As people with HIV age, they are experiencing other health issues that effect their quality of life. In this session presenters will look at neurocognitive issues, challenges to social participation, perceived sense of time left and stigma in an aging population of people with HIV.

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"My Body's a 50 Year-old but my Brain is Definitely an 85 Yearold": Exploring the Experiences of Men Aging with HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Challenges

Stephanie Nixon

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A Model of Social Participation Challenges experienced by Older Adults Living with HI

Patty Solomon

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Protective and Risk Factors Associated with HIV Stigma in a Population of Older Adults Living with HI

David Brennan

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Aging and HIV/AIDS: Implications of Altered Future Time Perspective

Charles Furlotte

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Visioning Positive Aboriginal Women's Research: Process to Policy

In Canada, Aboriginal women are experiencing high rates of HIV infection and rapid progression to AIDS. This session looks at how 'health' is perceived by this population and how using a more cultural context can better inform research practices.

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Environments of Nurturing Safety (EONS): Delivering Culturally Relevant Services for PAW (Positive Aboriginal Women)

Doris Peltier

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From Pain to Policy: Responding to the Needs of Positive Aboriginal Women Through Research and Knowledge to Action

Renée Masching

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Visioning Health: Art and Positive Aboriginal Women's Perceptions of Health, Culture and Gender

Tracey Prentice & Kerrigan Beaver

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Visioning Health: Technology, Tradition, and Enhancing Indigenous Knowledge for Positive Aboriginal Women

Tracey Prentice & Doris Peltier

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Outsmarting the Virus

Researchers share their exciting findings on inhibiting HIV and the potential for new treatment and therapies.

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Effects of HIV Inhibitors on Rev transport

Raymond Wong

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Interferon Gamma Induces IL-23 Expression through the Activation of p38 MAPK and Independent of the Jak/STAT Signalling Pathways in Primary Human Monocytes

Maria Blahoianu

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Milk Matters: Soluble Toll-Like Receptor 2 (sTLR2) Forms in Breast Milk Play a Significant Role in Inhibition of HIV-1 and Inflammation

Bethany Henrick

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T Cells Generated in Vitro from Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells are Capable of Engraftment in Vivo

Geneve Awong

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Talking to MSM: What Works?

The presenters will discuss issues and effective strategies for communicating with men who have sex with men. This session will cover a broad range of interventions from one-on-one counselling techniques to advertising to gay/bi/MSM on-line.

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Advertising to Gay, Bisexual, and other MSM on the Internet: Tips & Lessons from CATIE's On-Line Syphilis Campaign

Len Tooley

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Gay Poz Sex (GPS): A Community Based Counselling Intervention for HIVPositive Gay and Bisexual Men

Trevor Hart

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Looking Beyond Numbers: Critical research priorities of Asian MSM identified through innovative sexual health promotion forum

Alan Li

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The Health in Middlesex Men Matters Project Phase II: Quantitative Survey of gay, bisexual, and other MSM in Middlesex County, Ontario

Todd Coleman & Daniel Pugh

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Is Our Epidemic Changing? New Epi Trends

In this session researchers share new epi data and analyses and identify interesting trends in gender, age, racial/ethnic communities and testing behaviour.

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Evolving Trends in HIV Diagnoses in Ontario: Update to December 2010

Juan Liu

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Increased Syphilis Testing Among Persons with HIV in Ontario Over the Past Decade (2000-2009)

Ann Burchell

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Race/ethnicity of Newly Diagnosed HIV Cases in Ontario, 2009 to 2011

Ashleigh Sullivan

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HIV and Aging: A Canadian Perspective

Brodie Ramin

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Best Practices, Better Care

This session presents findings on clinical practices across Canada and provides recommendations for better care.

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Institutional Policies and Physician Prescribing Practices of Nonoccupational Post-exposure Prophylaxis (nPEP) in the Greater Toronto Area

Stephanie Barnes

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Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices and Needs of Designated Medical Practitioners Regarding HIV In Newcomers to Canada

Jennifer Tran

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Pocket PEP – Development of a Clinical Tool to Promote Best Practice

Deborah Yoong

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A Tuberculin Skin Testing Practices at an HIV Clinic in Kingston, Ontario

Paxton Bach

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The (Basic) Science of Sex (and HIV)

Presenters discuss the role of semen, the female genital tract and foreskin in HIV transmission.

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Endometrial Epithelial Cell Response to Semen from HIV-infected Men During Different Stages of Infection is Distinct and can Drive HIV-1 LTR

Jessica Kafka

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HIV Susceptibility and T Cell Immunology in the Foreskin

Jessica Prodger

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HIV-1 Envelope Glycoprotein (Gp120) Induces Pro-inflammatory Cytokines and Type I IFN in Primary Human Female Genital Epithelial Cells via TLR-2 and TLR-4 Dependent Pathway

Aisha Nazli

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The effect of sex hormones on HIV entry, replication and induction of antiviral pathways in female genital epithelial cells

Victor H. Ferreira

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Improving Care and Dr. Susan King Memorial Lecture


Chris Tsoukas
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University

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Mark H. Yudin
Adjunct Scientist, Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital
Jay MacGillivray
Registered Midwife, Positive Pregnancy Program, St. Michael's Hospital

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TUESDAY NOVEMBER 15, 2011


Finding Innovative Ways to Deliver Services: HIV Prevention and Care in a High Tech World


Simon Rosser
Director HIV/STI Intervention & Prevention Studies Program, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

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Timothy G. Heckman
Professor in Geriatric Medicine, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine

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Risk & Resilience in Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples continue to be over-represented in the HIV epidemic in Canada. Presenters will discuss research on risk and resilience, and access to treatment for Aboriginal peoples.

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Piloting the A-Track in Regina: A Sentinel Surveillance System of HIV-associated Risk Behaviours among Aboriginal Populations

Margaret Poitras

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Comparison of Supports and Coping Mechanisms for Aboriginal versus Non-Aboriginal People Living with HIV in Ontario

Denise Jaworsky

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Meanings of HIV Diagnosis among Aboriginal People Living with HIV/AIDS and Depression

Roy Cain

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Tools For Action: Addressing Treatment Access for Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Rene Boucher

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Using Critical Social Science Theory to Inform Research and Practice

This session is a critical commentary on the underpinnings of social science theory and locates these assumptions and principles in HIV community based research.

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Doing 'GIPA Work': A Critical Discourse Analysis of Select Canadian and International Documents on the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA)

Alex McClelland

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'Dilemma of Voice' in Community-based HIV research: Developing a Way Forward

Jeffrey Aguinaldo

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Making Sense of "Bad Boy" Talk: Drawing New Insights from a Critical Revisiting of Data Collected as Part of an Adolescent Sexual Health Community-Based Research Study

Adrian Guta

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Finding the Utility of Critical Social Science Theory in Community-Based Research and Practice

Nicole Greenspan

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Building Capacity in ASOs

ASOs need ongoing access to information and resources to meet the evolving needs of people living with HIV. In this session, researchers will present on training needs and programs, and how training can strengthen support services.

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'Turning to One Another': Evidence and Experience Demonstrating Greater Involvement of PHAs in Support Services and Leadership in Ontario's Community-based AIDS Service Organizations

Anna Demetrakopoulos

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Not Just the How, but the What and the Why. Theory into Practice: The Development of When Grief Comes to Work: A Handbook for Managers and Supervisors

Yvette Perreault

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Bridging the HIV Information Continuum: Stakeholder's Views on a Standardized National HIV Treatment Training

Elyse Huhlewych

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Beyond the Scoop: Interpreting and Communicating Trial Results for New HIV Prevention Technologies

Lesley Abraham

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Going Global

How effective are the programs that target various communities and populations? Are socially, economically and ethnoracially marginalized populations being reached effectively with interventions and education? This session explores strategies used to appeal to specific communities, and the lessons we can learn from their implementation.

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Applying Socio-Ecological Model to Examine HIV Risk Factors Beyond Individual Level: A Case Study of the HIV Situation among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) in Malaysia

Chi Chung Lau

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Comparing Online- and Offline-recruited Younger Gay Men in New Zealand: Important Considerations for HIV Behavioral Surveillance

Nathan Lachowsky

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Making a Living: Livelihood Experiences of People with Disabilities who are HIV+ in Lusaka, Zambia

Janet Njelesani

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Whizzkids United Football Program: Innovative Community Based HIV Prevention Program with South African Youth

Louise Balfour

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When HIV Meets Another Infection: The Impact of Co-Infection with Malaria, HSV or HCV

This session highlights the importance of understanding the impact of co-infection and the implications for new therapeutic strategies.

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Chronic HIV Infection Impairs Phagocytosis of Malaria Parasites

Lena Serghides

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HCV-specific IL-21-producing T-cells are Induced in HIV/HCV Coinfected Individuals and are Associated with HAART Therapy and HCV Viral Control

Sonya MacParland

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Hepatitis C Virus RNA Replication Potentiates HIV-Included Apoptosis of Human Hepatoma Cells

Manuela Neuman

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Impact of Hepatitis B and C co-infection on health-related quality of life in HIV positive patients

Jennifer Gillis

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Searching for a Cure


Timothy Brown
The Berlin Patient

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Matt Sharp
Independent HIV Education and Advocacy Consultant

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Tae-Wook Chun, Ph.D
National Institutes of Health

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From Reproduction to Disability: Emerging Issues for People Living with HIV

The estimated 65,000 Canadians living with HIV face a range of emerging issues. This session will explore reproduction needs, disability, employment issues, as well as determinants of health for people living with HIV.

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People Living with HIV/AIDS in Canada: A Determinants of Health Perspective – Preliminary Findings of the Population-Specific HIV/AIDS Status Report

Tanya Lary

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Desires, Need, Perceptions, and Knowledge of Assisted Reproductive Technologies of HIV-positive Women of Reproductive Age in Ontario, Canada

Yimeng Zhang

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Disability Experienced by Adults Living with HIV: Preliminary Findings Using the Newly Developed HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ)

Kelly O'Brien

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Psychosocial Work Conditions and Mental Health in People with HIV: The CIHR Employment Health and Health Outcomes (ECHO) Study

Sergio Rueda

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Sex, Risk & Resilience in MSM

Researchers discuss findings on a range of factors that affect risk and resilience in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

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Impact of Body Image on Sexual Health among Ethnoracialized Gay and Bisexual Men in Toronto

Kenta Asakura

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The Geography of Risk Factors and Protective Characteristics of HIV Transmission and Substance Use Among MSM in South Florida

Mance Buttram

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Examining HIV Vulnerability and Resilience among Gay, Bisexual, Twospirit and other Men Who Have Sex With Men through a Determinants of Health Lens

Brooke Ellis

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An Analysis of Sexual Decision Making for Spanish-speaking Gay, Bisexual and Men Who Have Sex With Men

Barry Adam

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Meaningful Involvement

The MIPA principle – meaningful involvement of people living with HIV – recognizes the important contributions people affected or infected by HIV make in our HIV response. This session reflects on some of the successes and challenges experienced by peer workers and highlights the importance of training, support and evaluation.

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Participant Feedback on Successful Adult Learning Techniques Utilized in PHA Facilitator Training Series

Anna Demetrakopoulos

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It's More Than Just a Job: Reflections of Peer Workers Providing an HIV Prevention Intervention

Lorne Hastie, Lori Ann Huncar, Kaylee Kiefer & Butch Silver

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Mano en Mano: Peer Outreach Educators Training. "The Experience"

Rene Lopez

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Vaccine Progress? Approaches to Vaccine Development

Vaccination's immediate benefit is individual immunity: it provides long-term, sometimes lifelong protection against a disease. Although there is no current vaccine for HIV, this session highlights successful design of three candidate vaccine antigens and explores novel approaches to vaccine development.

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Comprehensive Cross-Clade Elimination of Cells Infected with Globally Diverse HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIV Primary Isolates by HERV-K(HML-2)-Specific CD8+ T-cells

Brad Jones

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An Evaluation of Cynomolgus Macaque Endogenous Retrovirus Expression following Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Angie Marsh

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Enhancing Immunogenicity of HIV-1 Antigens using B-cell Immunogens

Kiera Clayton

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Self-assembling Peptide Based HIV-1 Nanovaccine can Elicit Strong HIV-1 Specific CD8+ T Cell Responses

Jun Liu

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Voices of African, Caribbean and Black Women: Perspectives on Health and Quality of Life

This session examines new findings on risk, resilience, mental health and quality of life among African, Caribbean and Black women.

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How Can We Measure What We Know about African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) Women Living With HIV (WLWH) in Canada? Identifying and Using

LLana James

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Racism, Sexism and HIV-Related Stigma: Understanding Predictors of Depression Among African Caribbean Women Living with HIV in Ontario, Canada

Carmen Logie

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Risky Sexual Behaviour among African and Caribbean Women in Toronto, Ontario

Maya Kesler

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Speaking from the Front Lines - African, Caribbean and Black Canadian (ACB) Women Living with HIV (WLWH) in Ontario, "For me self determination (SD)... that's the only thing that keeps me going", and the Role of Self Determination Theory (SDT)

LLana James

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Hand to Mouth: Oral Health and Smoking in HIV

Dental health is integral to one's overall health, yet access to dental care remains limited for people with HIV. While cigarette smoking may be declining, complications and risks with HIV remain high. This session looks at oral health and smoking in people with HIV.

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Are Dental Costs Giving You a Toothache: Placing Dental Care and Oral Health on the Policy Agenda

Ron Rosenes

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Association of the Metabolic Syndrome with Periodontal Disease in the Canadian HIV Vascular Study

Marek Smieja

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Effect of Smoking on Mortality and Morbidity in the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study, 1995-2007

Qu Cui

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The HIV Quit Smoking Intervention Pilot Study

Louise Balfour

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Talking Methods

Rigorous methodology is critical for rigorous research. In this session, presenters discuss methodological issues and study design.

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Assessing the Impact of the Frequency of Viral Load Testing and Interval Censoring on the Estimation of Time to Virologic Suppression after HAART Initiation: A Methods Analysis from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study (OCS)

Sandra Blitz

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Maximizing Bang for the Buck: A Look at Efficiency of Longitudinal Study Designs 195 Roxanna Salehi

Janet Raboud

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Multilingual Research Products: Lessons from a Community Based Project

Roxanna Salehi

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Respondent Driven Sampling Design Issues in Change the Cycle: A Simulation study

Timothy Guimond

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Going to the Source: Examining Immune Pathogenesis

HIV attacks the immune system. The reasons why the immune system ceases to function are highly complex. Researchers discuss several mechanisms by which the virus affects immune function, and offers hope for improving immune response.

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Effects of HIV-1 on the Maturation and Antigen Presentation of Monocyte Derived Dendritic Cells

Peter Fairman

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HIV Inhibition of IL-23 and IL-27 Production in Monocyte/Macrophages and the Signaling Pathways Involved in Regulating their Expression

Shifawn O'Hara

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The Essential Role of IL-7 Signalling in CD8+ T-cell Activities

Angela M. Crawley

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HIV Tat Protein Binds the Cytoplasmic Tail of CD127 via Tat's Aminoterminal Domain, Resulting in Down Regulation of CD127 from the Surface of CD8 T Cells

Scott Sugden

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