Among different developing world regions, the global burden of harm attributable to alcohol use is highest for Latin America and the Caribbean, where nearly 2 million people are also estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. The proposed conference series, "Alcohol &HIV in Latin America" has been developed through the collaborative efforts of researchers in Miami and Colombia, and has evolved from the successful International Alcohol &HIV/AIDS Meetings held in Cali, Colombia, in 2007 and 2008. These Alcohol &HIV/AIDS meetings, supported by NIAAA, formed the groundwork to help structure alcohol and HIV research issues of most concern in Latin America, and contributed to the dissemination of information among researchers, health care workers, and policy makers. Based on the lessons learned from the two prior symposia, a creative feature of the proposed meetings will include not only an interactive, small-group Alcohol &HIV Research Workshop as during the 2008 event, but an on-line tutorial after the conference to help develop collaborative research protocols. The Research Workshop is intended to facilitate interaction between U.S. and international scientists promoting potential research collaborations for reducing complications of HIV infected, at-risk, and affected populations with alcohol use problems. The objectives of the proposed "Alcohol &HIV in Latin America" program series (2009- 2011) are to 1) Establish a forum for the dissemination of information that will enhance international and collaborative efforts to address alcohol-related problems in the context of HIV/AIDS, and 2) Provide a framework for the Alcohol &HIV research setting that will promote sustainable research capacity among countries in Latin America. To accomplish these goals, a three-year plan is proposed incorporating broad themes to enhance research capacity in specific areas involving: a) prevention;b) behavioral and psychiatric co-morbidities, including abuse and dependence within clinical populations, and (c) research related to the biomedical consequences of alcohol abuse. The long-term conference series has been planned to enhance knowledge and provide sustainable research capacity to explore more specific and evolving topics. This should stimulate a more capable international community and foster collaborative research to strengthen alcohol/HIV prevention and therapeutic efforts. Both national and international experts in these alcohol/HIV fields will be invited to present keynote sessions and lead the interactive workshops. The proposed conference series will be conducted as a part of the Comprehensive Meeting on AIDS, which has been taking place in Cali since 1995, under the sponsorship of the Corporaci?n de Lucha Contra el SIDA, an organization dedicated to the support of programs for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Alcohol use has been shown to cause significant harm to the physical, psychological and social health of individuals, families and communities. The global burden of harm attributable to alcohol use for different developing world regions is highest for Latin America and the Caribbean, where the role of alcohol abuse in the promotion of high risk behavior and HIV/AIDS has not been adequately explored. The objectives of the proposed Alcohol &HIV in Latin America Conference series (2009-2011) are to: establish a forum for the dissemination of information that will enhance international and collaborative efforts to address alcohol-related problems in the context of HIV/AIDS, and provide a scientific framework that will promote the development of sustainable research strategies for optimal alcohol/HIV prevention, treatment and care.