Abuja - The Coordinator of the New HIV Vaccine and
Microbicide Advocacy Society, Dr Morenike Ukpong, on Friday said the
organisation would host a biomedical HIV prevention forum next month.
Ukpong told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the forum
would create a platform for intellectual discussion and sharing of
"The 2013 Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum (BHPF) is the first in a
series of conferences on biomedical HIV Prevention research and
development to be held in Africa.
"It promises to be an exciting and memorable experience. It shall
serve as a forum for HIV prevention researchers, programme managers,
policy makers and stakeholders in and around Africa.
"Participants will meet and discuss with regional and international
researchers on investments in research and some recent ground breaking
findings in the field.’’
According to her, the forum will provide a platform for intellectual
discussions and sharing of perspectives among stakeholders in the
field, which can influence HIV prevention research and development in
Ukpong said the forum would help in identifying research gaps that
could feed into the biomedical HIV prevention agenda as well as identify
how best to translate research findings into policies and programmes.
"Evidences from results of HIV prevention trials between 2010 and
2012 point to the blurring of the divide between AIDS treatment and HIV
"Treatment is as good a prevention measure as prevention is a tool for HIV treatment.
"Within this evolving trend is the growing interest in pursuing a cure for HIV, something not dreamt about years before now.''
According to Ukpong, while the world drives the HIV cure agenda,
many countries in Africa, Nigeria inclusive, lag behind in addressing
the HIV epidemic.
She said that access to HIV prevention and treatment tools remained
challenging as well as the fight to eliminate mother-to-child
"There is the need to sustain discussions on best practices and
lessons learnt from behavioural change communication (BCC), prevention
of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) as HIV prevention tool.
"This forum will help stakeholders evaluate successes, gaps and
identify ways for sustainable and integrated country led HIV prevention
Ukpong said the forum would also serve as a discussion platform for
stakeholders engaged in HIV prevention and control programmes.
She said that synthesis of HIV prevention issues to be discussed at
the forum would inform policy formulation, policy review and programme
NAN reports that members of the conference secretariat include New
HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society, World AIDS Campaign,
Institute of Public Health and National Agency for the Control of AIDS.