The annual International Workshop on HIV Dynamics and Evolution gathers people from a wide variety of research areas to explore how viral dynamics and evolution provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie host-pathogen interactions and the emergence, spread, and containment of HIV/AIDS. The meetings address emerging themes in evolutionary biology in order to gain a theoretical understanding and mathematical description of the evolutionary processes that underpin HIV/AIDS. The meeting objectives are to highlight state-of-the-art developments in the field and promote dialog and collaboration across the related disciplines. The rationale for the meeting is that other conferences do not have the same unique focus or multidisciplinary content. Topics covered include the evolutionary history and diversification of retroviruses, advances in and the application of new mathematical algorithms, modeling of the interaction between the virus, the host and its immune response, and infection dynamics and epidemic behavior. Program Committee governance and oversight assures the quality, novelty and consistency of a highly interactive meeting. The selected speakers ensure wide geographical representation, good gender balance, and attendance of young investigators who are developing their reputations in the scientific community and who will invigorate the field. The meeting has enhanced interactions among the attendees to create an active network for theoreticians and experimentalists in order to address fundamental issues and accelerate discovery in HIV/AIDS research. Because of its uniqueness, the meeting can accomplish what other meetings cannot with regard to generating knowledge, creating new consensus, increasing opportunity for collaboration, and opening new areas of evolutionary biology research. The multidisciplinary venue allows trainees and young investigators just starting their career paths to interact closely with internationally recognized experts for mentoring. The annual meeting has grown in scope and significance, fundamentally reshaping the HIV/AIDS research landscape. The 17-year history of the meeting shows feasibility, expertise in the topic, and a track record of working together. To disseminate information and explore this area of scientific research, the specific aims of the meetings are to: facilitate communication of the most recent results relating to HIV dynamics and evolution;provide a forum for debate and discussion of alternative hypotheses in these areas;and integrate new mathematical approaches into pathogenesis research, drug therapy, and vaccine design.
Viral genetic variation, driven by host genetics and immunity, is the basis of HIV infection dynamics and epidemic behavior, and a central agenda for HIV/AIDS research. It is increasingly evident that the nature and extent of HIV genetic variation, the biological and evolutionary processes that have produced the observed patterns, and the human genes and their relevant genetic variants, are central to the evolution of virulence and drug resistance, and to vaccine design. The International Workshop on HIV Dynamics and Evolution will bring together leaders in the field to address key aspects of the mechanisms that underlie host-pathogen interactions and contribute to the emergence, spread, and containment of HIV/AIDS.