The purpose of this grant application is to request funds to partially support planning, organizing and hosting HIV Research for Prevention 2014: Vaccine, Microbicide and ARV-based Prevention Science Conference (R4P2014), an international conference. R4P2014 will be the world's first and only scientific meeting dedicated to biomedical HIV prevention research. Its primary goals are to help create opportunities for trans-disciplinary interactions in biomedical prevention research;expand discussions of crosscutting issues as new HIV prevention options are developed, and increase coordination and communication among international groups. The pursuit of effective biomedical HIV prevention options has progressed further and faster in the last few years than at any time since the epidemic began. Recent breakthroughs in vaccines, ARV-based microbicides, PrEP, treatment for prevention and other prevention technologies create new opportunities to reduce the impact of the global epidemic. This progress also brings opportunity for scientific debate and creates new challenges as we continue to move HIV biomedical prevention research forward. Most importantly, these advances teach us that effective HIV prevention will require a combination of approaches. Reflective of this new approach, we propose a new, broader prevention research conference for 2014, HIV Research for Prevention. This first bi-annual meeting will take place 28-31 October 2014 at the Cape Town International Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. This international conference will bring together researchers, advocates, clinicians, policy makers, private sector partners and public health experts to present, discuss, and debate the latest research in ARV-based prevention, vaccines and related areas of HIV prevention. It will build on and link to the successes of the past bi-annual Microbicide and annual AIDS Vaccine conferences it will replace. The conference will drive greater coordination, cross-fertilization and increased collaboration. It will also provide a forum to address cross-cutting issues, emphasizing the importance of combination prevention, and it will break down any existing research siloes between different prevention technologies. R4P 2014 will therefore have a significant impact on the advancement of scientific research in unique prevention areas with the potential to make significant progress in the prevention of HIV infection. The conference will attract between 1,200-1,500 members of the HIV prevention community and will provide 200 full and 100 partial scholarships as well as subsidized registration rates for early-career and lower-middle income country (LMIC) scientists. Information presented at the conference will be disseminated to give free, worldwide access to all who are unable to attend in person. Peer-reviewed abstracts will be published online in an open access journal, and posters will be available online as e-posters. All sessions will be available as webcasts, including free downloads of slides and audio on the conference web site.
HIV remains one of humanity's greatest challenges, and biomedical prevention interventions to effectively reduce the 2.5 million annual new infections are a critical necessity. The proposed biannual conference will provide a venue to build on recent scientific breakthroughs in vaccine development, ARV-based microbicides, PrEP, treatment as prevention and other prevention technologies. It will stimulate collaborative science and cross fertilization of biomedical prevention research with an emphasis on the importance of combination prevention strategies.