2012 Conference

Over 625 people registered to attend RC 2012 - Research with Real-Life Impact - and the event was a resounding success. Attendees heard from some of the most distinguished researchers in the field from across Canada, the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia. We were also privileged to have people living with HIV - leaders in our work - moderating many of our sessions. Thanks to our plenary and concurrent session presenters, our conference co-chairs Art Zoccole and Lynne Leonard, the abstract review committee, our generous industry sponsors, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Full Program (PDF) | Virtual Posters | UWW Cyber Digest | Conference Evaluation Summary


Opening Remarks and Plenary: Closer to a Cure?

Robert F. Siliciano, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


Brad Jones, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard


Patrick Sullivan, DVM, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health



Plenary: Is Treatment Enough Prevention?

William C. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of North Carolina


Susan Kippax, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales


Patrick Sullivan, DVM, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health


Rupert Kaul, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine and Immunology, University of Toronto


Barry Adam, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist and Director of Prevention Research, OHTN


Tony Hughes, BSc, MSc, QSM
Research Director, New Zealand AIDS Foundation


Concurrent Sessions, 11:00am-12:00pm

On the Front Lines: Research and GIPA in ASOs

ASOs continue to progress and evolve in their efforts to apply research and ensure the more meaningful involvement of people with HIV. In this session, presenters discuss ASO efforts to identify evidence-based priorities, enhance the research literacy of people with HIV, and understand the factors that enhance or constrain GIPA. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane?: exploring the impact of research on community responses to HIV

Jessica Cattaneo SLIDES
Effects of an Evidence Service on Community-based AIDS Service Organizations' use of Research Evidence: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Michael Wilson SLIDES
Research with a Purpose: Mobilizing Knowledge for Program Development in an AIDS Service Organization

Lydia Makoroka SLIDES
What Enables GIPA, What Constrains GIPA? Participation of People Living with HIV and the Formalization Oof Toronto-Based AIDS Service Organizations

Alex McClelland SLIDES

Gender Differences: HIV Risks and Prevention in Women

Women face different HIV risks, influenced by culture and social determinants of health. This session discusses HIV risk and prevention for women in prison, immigrant women and women in the Ontario Women's Study. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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The Ontario Women's Study: What Ontario Women Have to Say about HIV Prevention: Implications for Policy and Program Development

Sue McWilliam, Wangari Tharao SLIDES
HIV Transmission and Prevention among Ontario Women in Prison: A Service Provider's Perspective

Sanjana Mitra SLIDES
Risk Factors Contributing to HIV Vulnerability of Immigrant Women of South Asian Descent in the GTA

Roula Kteily-Hawa SLIDES
Valacyclovir Suppressive Therapy does not Reduce Putative HIV Target Cells in the Genital Mucosa of HSV-2 Infected Individuals

Tae Joon Yi SLIDES

Stopping Stigma

After more than 30 years, people with HIV still live with stigma. This session explores discrimination in health care providers and the experience of stigma in trans-PHAs, and presents promising interventions. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Conceptualizing HIV-Related Stigma in Terms of Discrimination, Stereotyping and Prejudice among Health Care Providers

Anne C. Wagner SLIDES
The Trans PULSE Project: Exploring Experiences of Stigma and the Use of Stigma-Management Strategies among Trans People Living with HIV

Lauren Munro SLIDES
Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT): The Experience of Adaptation and Application for HIV Stigma Reduction

Kenneth Fung SLIDES
Social Justice Capacity Building Training for HIV Stigma Reduction: Insights From the CHAMP Study

Josephine P. Wong, Ciro Bisignano


Reproductive Systems: HIV Susceptibility in the Genital Tract

To stop HIV, we need to know more about how HIV is transmitted – in particular the factors that affect HIV susceptibility in the female and male genital tracts. In this basic science session, presenters will discuss recent findings about the impact of female hormones, seminal plasma, mucosal lining and herpes virus on HIV susceptibility. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Female Sex Hormones and Hormonal Contraceptives Affect Entry, but not Replication, of HIV-1 in Primary Genital Epithelial Cells

Victor H. Ferreira
L-22 Protects against HIV Mediated Mucosal Barrier Breakdown in Female Genital Tract

Aisha Nazli SLIDES
Examining the Role of Seminal Plasma from HIV-1 Infected and Uninfected Men on Female Genital Tract Barrier Function

Jessica Kafka SLIDES
Foreskin Immune Associations of Asymptomatic Herpes Simplex Virus-2 Infection

Jessica Prodger


Dr. Susan King Memorial Lecture & Discussion

Ari Bitnun, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto and Staff Physician, Sick Kids


Jason Brophy, M.D.
Pediatrician, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario


Concurrent Sessions, 1:15-2:00pm

Knowledge is Power: Improving Prevention and Care for Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples in Canada continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. Efforts to improve prevention and care have been hampered by lack of information about Aboriginal people's health and social needs or their use of health care services. This session reviews the literature on Aboriginal HIV prevention strategies and highlights new knowledge gained from two cohorts of Aboriginal people: the Positive Spaces Healthy Places cohort and the OHTN Cohort Study. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Engagement in Continuous Care between 1997 and 2009 among Aboriginal Participants in the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study (OCS)

Laura Warren SLIDES
2-spirit Aboriginal People Living with HIV/AIDS who Participated in the Positive Spaces Healthy Places Study

Nathan J. Lachowsky SLIDES
Discussing HIV Prevention Strategies in Aboriginal Communities: Starting a Dialogue

Sherri Pooyak SLIDES

Evidence Matters: New Perspectives on Community-Based Evaluation

In this session, perspectives on community-based evaluation of HIV prevention and support programs will be investigated. This special session will be informative and appeal to both researchers and practitioners. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Reviewing Evaluation Practice at the AIDS Committee of Toronto

Jessica Cattaneo SLIDES
Community-Based Evaluation of HIV Prevention Programs by ASOs: Preliminary Findings of a Case Study

Nicole R. Greenspan SLIDES
Case Studies of HIV Prevention Interventions in Canada: Informal Knowledge and Community-Based Evaluation

San Patten, Eric Mykhalovskiy, Christine Johnston SLIDES

Growing Up with HIV: Building on the Strengths of Supportive Programming for Youth

Young people who are infected with HIV face a number of unique challenges related to their transition from pediatric to adult care. This session will be introduced with presentations from the perspectives of service providers and youth participants, and will proceed with a guided discussion of how these unique challenges can be addressed, with a focus on the strengths that currently exist within the system.

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A Camp-Model Community Building to Empower Kids who are Impacted by HIV in Canada

Ahmed Bechir Habre SLIDES
Evaluating a Therapeutic Group Program for Children and Youth with HIV: The Challenges and Benefits of Bringing Community Group Facilitators to a Pediatric Hospital Setting

Robyn Salter, Simone Shindler SLIDES

Mother and Child: Understanding Risks During Pregnancy

Babies born to women with HIV have a higher risk of being born pre-term and/or being a low birthweight. This session looks at the biological, clinical and social factors associated with these adverse outcomes for women and their babies. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Lower Progesterone Levels Detected after Protease Inhibitor (Pi) Exposure in Vitro and in Vivo – A Potential Mechanism for Low Birth Weight and Preterm Delivery In HIV-Positive Cart Exposed Women

Eszter Papp SLIDES
Angiogenesis and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Women with HIV: The AAPH Study

Lena Serghides SLIDES
Prevalence and Predictors of Adverse Obstetrical Outcomes in Women with HIV: A Twenty-year Single-center Chart Review

Sarah Buchan SLIDES

Concurrent Sessions, 3:00-4:00pm

Women's Health and Well-being: Psychological and Social Issues

Many women living with HIV face psychological and social stresses, including poverty, marital distress, violence, stigma, issues with child protection services, and challenges with social participation. This session will explore these stresses and issues, and discuss the need for services and supports.

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"I Guess She Just Needs to do her Homework...": HIV-Positive Mothers' Interactions with Child Protection Services across Ontario

Doe O'Brien-Teengs, Mary-Elizabeth Vaccaro SLIDES
Patterns of Sexual Behaviour among African and Caribbean Women Living with HIV in Toronto, Ontario

Wangari Tharao SLIDES
Correlates of Psychological Distress in Women Living with HIV in Ontario, Canada

Anita C. Benoit SLIDES
Challenges to Social Participation in Older Women Living with HIV

Patty Solomon SLIDES

Double Trouble: Co-Infection Among People Living with HIV/AIDS (OCS)

Co-infections create health challenges for people living with HIV/AIDS, adding to the stress of HIV. This session presents analyses done using the OHTN Cohort Study, looking specifically at the impact of another infection, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, chlamydia or gonorrhea. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Prevalence and Incidence of Hepatitis C Virus Infection among HIV-positive MSM with no History of Injection Drug Use

Michael Manno SLIDES
Co-infection with Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhea among Persons in HIV Care in Ontario: Trends in Testing and Diagnosis, 2008-2011

Ann N. Burchell SLIDES
Impact of Viral Hepatitis Co-Infection on Mortality of HIV-positive Individuals Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy

Jennifer Gillis SLIDES
Incidence and Risk for Cardiovascular Disease among Antiretroviral-treated HIV-HCV and HIVHBV Co-Infected Patients

Janet Raboud SLIDES

Risk and Resilience in Gay, Bisexual and Other Men who have Sex with Men

Complex factors affect risk in men who have sex with men. This session discusses the role of body image, perceived masculinity, psychosocial problems, and partner trust in sexual risk taking. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Intersectional Perspectives on Resilience in Gay Men's Health

Sarah A. Chown SLIDES
Imagine Men's Health Study: An Examination of Body Image, Masculinity and HIV Sexual Risk Behaviours among Ethnoracialized Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men

David J. Brennan SLIDES
The Additive Effect of Multiple Psychosocial Problems Predicting Risky Sex Among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

Stanley Ing SLIDES
Non-Occupational HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis and Sexual-Risk Taking

Kathryn Marsilio SLIDES

Under the Microscope: The Impact of ARTs

Since the advent of antiretroviral therapies, people with HIV have been living longer in better health. In this session, presenters discuss drug interactions and the impact of certain ARTs.

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Nuclear Receptor Mediated Induction of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) by Antiretroviral Drugs (ARVs) in Human Brain Microvessel Endothelial Cells

Gary N.Y. Chan SLIDES
Raltegravir is not an Inhibitor but a Potential Substrate of the Drug Efflux Transporters, P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP)

Tozammel Hoque SLIDES
Role of Drug Efflux Transporters in Atazanavir Tissue Distribution at Sanctuary Sites of HIV-1 Infection

Kevin Robillard SLIDES
Effect of Anti-Inflammatory Compounds on HIV-1 gp120-mediated Brain Inflammation

Tamima Ashraf SLIDES

Plenary: HIV, HAND and Brain Health

Robert K. Heaton, Ph.D.
Vice Chair of Academic Affairs in Clinical Psychology, University of California, San Diego


Scott Letendre, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego


Victor Valcour, M.D.
Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Neurology, University of California, San Francisco



Plenary: Building Resilience

Conall O'Cleirigh, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Behavioral Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital


Catherine Dodds, Ph.D.
Stigma Researcher, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


Samuel R Friedman, Ph.D.
Director of HIV/AIDS Research at National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.


Carrielynn Lund, MSW
Aboriginal Researcher, Alberta


Concurrent Sessions, 11:00am-12:00pm

Peer Pressure: Lessons Learned about Engaging Peers in Research

In addition to creating knowledge, research can engage and empower people living with HIV. Peer involvement in research is a critical component of community-based research. This session takes a closer look at the role of peer researchers, and discusses the lessons learned about how to successfully engage peers in research. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Prioritizing Community Engagement and Ownership in Developing Data Collection Tools in PROUD, an Ottawa CBPR Study

Lisa Lazarus SLIDES
Ripple Effects of the Tuskegee Experiment: Implementing a Peer Recruiter Strategy in a Community Based Clinical Research Study for African & Carribean Men

Jamie Thomas-Pavanel SLIDES
Facilitating Peer Research Associates to be HIV Champions: Experiences and lessons learnt from the CHAMP study

Christian Hui, Henry Luyombya SLIDES
CHIWOS Formative Phase Focus Group Analysis: Exploring the Complexities of Peer Involvement in Women's HIV Care

Johanna Lewis SLIDES

Decolonizing Methodologies

Scientific language and research methodologies may be a barrier to Aboriginal peoples participating in research. This session highlights decolonizing methodologies that may help Aboriginal people build on their strengths, engage in research in a way that feels authentic and communicate their experience. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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N'ginaajiiwimi: An Indigenous Framework for Resisting the Language of HIV in Research from a Place of Strength

Doris Peltier SLIDES
The power of stories: How Aboriginal Youth HIV Leaders are Taking Action!

Sarah Flicker SLIDES
Our Bodies Are Not Terra Nullius: Métis Voice on Connections between HIV, Health and Place

Erin Konsmo SLIDES
The Canadian Journal of Aboriginal Community-Based HIV/AIDS Research; CAAN's Peer Reviewed Journal

Marni Amirault SLIDES

Harm Reduction Strategies: Impact? Opportunities for Improvement?

Ontario is committed to harm reduction approach to substance use, and want to know what is working and what can be done better. This session discusses an evaluation of the province's IDU outreach programs, shifts in injection practices and changes in prevalence rates in Ottawa, the potential role of drug sellers in prevention programs, and harm reduction in a hospital setting. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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What can 15 years of data collected among women and men in Ottawa who inject drugs tell us and how do we interpret it?

Linda Pelude SLIDES
Intersection of drug selling and HIV risk behaviours

Gillian Kolla SLIDES
My substances, my care and my hospital experience

Karen de Prinse SLIDES
"Someone who thinks I matter": The Impact of Injection Drug Use Outreach Programs across Ontario

Joanne Lush SLIDES

Going Global

Canadian researchers in partnership with researchers in other countries are helping to understand and solve global HIV issues. This session takes us beyond our borders to look at international initiatives to address stigma and risk.

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Adapting a Canadian Diaspora Health Promotion Intervention Cross Culturally to Address HIV Stigma in China: Experience of an Innovative International Collaborative Research Partnership

Efficacy of a Daily Web-Administered Diary as a Tool to Collect Information about Context and Sexual Risk among MSM in Shanghai, China

Sarah Jane Steele nee Taleski SLIDES
Contributing to the Effectiveness of Nationwide Roll-out of Programming to Reduce HIV Vulnerability Among Youth in Kenya

Rhulangane Mungwete SLIDES
Lessons Learned from Research with HIV+ Female Sex Workers in Kibera, a Large Informal Settlement in Nairobi, Kenya

Eric Roth SLIDES

Dr. Charles Roy Memorial Lecture & Discussion

J.J. (Jay) Koornstra
Executive Director, Bruce House


Saara Greene
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, McMaster University


James Watson
Coordinator, Community-based Research, OHTN


Keith Hambly
Executive Director, Fife House Foundation


Sean B. Rourke
Scientific and Executive Director, OHTN


Concurrent Sessions, 1:30pm-2:15pm

Research Questions: A Critical Look at Methodologies

Methodological design and data collection tools are critical to rigorous effective research. In this session, presenters discuss methodological challenges and opportunities. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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"It snowed and then it rained. Can't go out now": Opportunities and Challenges of Using Photo-Elicitation with People Managing Advanced HIV Disease

Sarah Switzer SLIDES
Challenges and Opportunities in Using Respondent Driven Sampling to Recruit MSM for HIV Biobehavioural Research

Jamie I. Forrest SLIDES
Conducting Online Survey Research with People Living with HIV: Lessons Learned from Piloting the HIV, Health and Rehabilitation Survey

Kelly O'Brien SLIDES

Organizing AIDS Services: Then and Now

In the 30-plus years since the first Ontario AIDS service organization was formed, needs, structures and services have evolved. In this session, presenters discuss the challenges in structuring these organizations, providing services and ensuring the meaningful involvement of people with HIV/AIDS.

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The Historical Development of Toronto-based AIDS Service Organizations: Factors of Growth, Formalization and Implications for the Future

Alex McClelland SLIDES
"Being Everything to Everybody" An Environmental Scan of Support Services Provided by AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) across Ontario

Roy Cain, Joanne Lush, Alekhya Mascarenhas SLIDES
Turning To One Another Year Three Participant Meeting: Comparing Baseline to Final Year Findings, Model Input and Local Implementation Challenges

Anna Demetrakopoulos SLIDES

Interventions that Work

Effective interventions are key to preventing HIV and supporting people with or at-risk of HIV. In this session, presenters discuss interventions and the indicators that can be used to evaluate their impact. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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Gay Poz Sex (GPS): Qualitative Findings of a Community-based Counselling Intervention for HIV Positive Gay and Bisexual Men

Trevor Hart SLIDES
Promoting International Interventions that Aim to Promote Community Resilience and HIV Prevention Practices among MSM/Gay Spanish-Speaking Speaking Men: The Mano En Mano Case Study

Gerardo Betancourt SLIDES
What Differences Have we Made? Developing Rigorous and Meaningful Indicators to Evaluate Program Outcome and Impact in Community-based HIV Prevention and Health Promotion Interventions


Fighting the Virus

Science has yet to discover a cure for HIV, but it has identified ways to fight and slow the virus. This session discusses strategies to improve immunogenicity as well as the role of cellular proteins and oncolytic viruses. This work has the potential to lead to new treatments. For more information read the UWW Cyber Digest.

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

Kiera Clayton
Presentation not published by request of author
Interferon Induced HERC5 Restricts HIV-1 Replication by Two Novel Mechanisms

Matthew Woods SLIDES
Oncolytic Viruses as a Potential Approach to Eliminate the HIV Reservoir

Cecilia T. Costiniuk SLIDES

Concurrent Sessions, 3:00pm-4:00pm

Roadblocks to Health and Well-being

At many stages of their lives, people with HIV face roadblocks to maintaining or improving their health. In some cases, the barriers are due to lack of resources; in others, to determinants that affect their ability to live well and enjoy life. In this session, presenters discuss some of these roadblocks, including the cost of treatment and lack of transitional housing for recent immigrants or refugee claimants, barriers to employment, and barriers to physical and sexual intimacy.

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"Show Me the Love:" Using Community-based Research to Understand the Barriers to Sexual Intimacy among People Living with HIV & AIDS in Guelph, Ontario

Megan DePutter SLIDES
Initial Findings of the Transitional Housing Study: The Needs of Refugee Claimants in Transitional Housing for PHAs in Ontario

Amrita Ahluwalia SLIDES
Characteristics of Patients Receiving Compassionate Supply of Antiretroviral Medications and Associated Medication Costs in a Toronto HIV Speciality Clinic

Deborah M. Yoong SLIDES
The Development of a Business Case to Support the Employment of People Living with HIV and Other Episodic Disabilities

Wendy Porch SLIDES

Finding and Closing Gaps in Care

The care needs of people living with HIV continue to evolve. How can clinical settings keep pace? How can we improve care? In this session, presenters discuss a range of strategies to close gaps in care, including training medical students, enhancing the skills of front-line workers in ASOs and rehabilitation professionals, and comparing the impact of different testing settings for recent immigrants.

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Evidence-Informed Recommendations in Rehabilitation for Older Adults Living with HIV: A Knowledge Synthesis

Kelly O'Brien SLIDES
The Preclerkship HIV Elective: Continuing to Address Gaps in Health Care Education of Medical Students

Zenita Alidina, Madiha Naseem SLIDES
Getting the News: How is the Diagnosis Experience of People Diagnosed with HIV through the Immigration Medical Exam Different from those Diagnosed through Other Means?

Maureen Owino SLIDES
Preparing for PrEP: Assessing the Readiness of Front-line Service Providers for the Implementation of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention

Heather Senn SLIDES
Testing the Limits: Lessons Learned from a Prison-Based HIV Rapid Point-Of-Care Testing Pilot Program

Adam Higeli, Sue Gallaher SLIDES

Reducing Risks for Youth

Complex factors affect youths' risk of engaging in risk behaviours and acquiring sexually transmitted diseases and/or bloodborne infections. In this session, presenters discuss a range of risk factors, including childhood sexual abuse, crack use and social determinants of health - as well as strategies, such as tension reduction activities, access to safer smoking equipment and social media, to help youth reduce or manage risk.

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Childhood Sexual Abuse and Sex Trading Among Homeless Youth in Canada: The Mediating Roles of Emotional Dysregulation and Tension Reduction Activities

Trevor A. Hart SLIDES
Preliminary Findings of the Population-Specific HIV/AIDS Status Report for Youth and Youth at-Risk in Canada – A Determinants of Health Perspective

Caroline Babin SLIDES
Learning from the Voices of Youth: A Participatory Research Study Exploring the HIV and Hepatitis C Prevention Needs of Youth Who Smoke Crack

Karen White-Jones SLIDES
The Use of Social Media to Address Youth Sexually Transmitted Infections. Do People Really Download an Online Form To Get Tested? An Evaluation of Year 1 of the "GET TESTED. WHY NOT?" Campaign.

Zhaida Uddin SLIDES

HIV Ups its Game

HIV attacks the body in many ways, making it extremely difficult to find vaccines or cures or effective ways to fight back. This session presents new evidence about the impact of the virus on mucosal inflammation, immune function and the production of regulatory B cells.

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Functional Dysregulation of Mucosal Th17 Cells During HIV Infection and Treatment is Associated with Microbial Translocation and Immune Activation

Connie J. Kim SLIDES
In Vitro HIV Infection Reduces IL-17 Production by Human Th17 Cells

Jason Fernandes SLIDES
HIV Inhibits LPS-induced IL-23 and IL-27 Production through Decreased Activation of the p38 and JNK MAPK Pathways in Human Macrophages

Shifawn O'Hara SLIDES
Regulatory B Cells are Induced in Untreated HIV-1 Infection and Suppress HIV-1 Specific T Cell Responses


Plenary: Living Longer = Living Well? Aging with HIV

Michael Yin
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Columbia University Medical Center, New York


Lisa Power
Health Advocacy Team Manager, Terrence Higgins Trust


Stephen Karpiak, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Research, AIDS Community Research Initiative of America


David Brennan
Assistant Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto


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