Check out our first update from day one of #IAS2015!

Achieving Pregnancy While Minimizing HIV Transmission Risk

Speakers: Pietro Varnazza, Valerie Nicholson, Angela Kaida, Martha Tholanah
Represented Organizations: SFU, WHO, hip, University of Washington and Massachusetts General Hospital

The purpose of the seminar was to de-stigmatize the concept of HIV risk and pregnancy. Certain alternative methods such as “sperm washing” and PrEP are highly effective when it comes to reducing HIV risk in utero. Also, clarification about ARV exposure to babies yields no additional birth abnormalities as compared to the HIV negative populations. However, there still needs to be more comprehensive studies for expecting mothers on ARV.

Key Points

  • Child bearing is a reproductive right for HIV positive individuals, women have desire to have children, the former doesn’t discriminate with status
  • Strategies should include gender and other discrimination factors that mediate social practices
  • In vitro sperm washing is an efficient way to reduce transmission risk in term of pregnancy
  • Some couples of difficulty while still using alternative methods, but those usually match the same population demographics as HIV negative rates

Prospective Questions

  • Are alternative methods readily discussed in developing countries?
  • Are women in serodiscordant relationships able to access PrEP in a cost effective manner while pregnant?

More Information

Testing, New Directions in Treatment and Measuring Impact: New WHO Guidelines

Speakers: Fabio Mesquita, Sabin Msanzimana, Praphan Phnuphak, Meg Doherty, Hallett, Salim Karim, Tsitsi Apollo
Represented Organizations: WHO (World Health Organization)

WHO’s new testing and treatment guidelines are a way to insure that the first 90-90-90 goals are achievable i.e. 90 % of all people living with HIV will know their status. For example, new testing highlights like lay people test conductors and self testing, offers a more dynamic approach the 90-90-90 goals. Also, raising the CD4 count to 500 insures more people receive treatment. The goal of these new measures to is capture population that the previous guidelines didn't reached i.e. those people who have never tested before and those who weren’t able to receive treatment.

Key Points

  • about 15 million people who are positive are on treatment
  • New approach (trained lay providers, test for triage, HIV self- testing and capacity to prevent misdiagnosis)
  • 2010 to 2014 600 million adults tested mostly from Africa or are women
  • Highlights for New Testing guidelines ( lay providers for HTS, improved quality, reduce misdiagnosis,expanding community based HTS and HIVST)
  • Highlights for New Treatment guidelines (consolidate ARV guidelines, PrEP, ART as treatment for CD4 over or equal to 500)

Prospective Questions

  • Is WHO going to clearly represent the misdiagnosis that could result from self-testing while promoting the service?
  • How does Canada become involved in terms of national policies to implement self-testing?

More Information

Making Fast Track a Reality: Addressing Gender-related Barriers to Treatment Access

Speakers: T. Kendall, Lillia Mworeko, Nazneen Damji (moderator)
Represented Organizations: ATHENA, AVAC, Salamander Trust, UN Women

First of its kind global review of care and treatment access for women living with HIV. Specifically led by and for HIV + women. The presentation addressed a multitude of barriers to accessing and adhering to treatment. Addressing barriers facing women with right- based programming will achieve goals.


  • Women centered care by promotion belonging, inclusivity and purpose is vital to achieving 90-90-90 world goal
  • Women living with HIV are early warning system to community knowledge
  • Previously few data exists of non per-natal women who are HIV +
  • Barriers to accessing and adhering to treatment:
    • Financial barriers to access
    • Violence and discrimination usually from family or partner
    • Community members
    • Health care professionals
    • Punitive government laws

Prospective Questions

  • How do marginalized women populations play a role in achieving the 90-90-90 goals?
  • What could be some strategies for bringing evidence based knowledge to global policy making?

More Information

Stay tuned for more updates from #IAS2015!

Aids Vancouver


Tweets and updates by AIDS Vancouver regarding #HIV Information, local events, news and more!