More than 2000 researchers are expected at the 2011 Caribbean HIV conference, which takes place in November in the Bahamas.
The meeting is meant to sharpen the focus on the Caribbean as the region with the world’s second-highest adult HIV prevalence, according to the conference website.
Some 623 abstracts were received on the efforts of HIV researchers in 32 countries and territories, mainly in the Caribbean.
The first plenary session will kick off on 19 November with a talk from J. Peter Figueroa, University of the West Indies, Jamaica and Jean William Pape of the Haïtian Group for the Study of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections (Le Groupe Haïtien d’Etude du Sarcome de Kaposi et des Infections Opportunistes or GHESKIO) which describes itself as the first institution in the world dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The role of the Caribbean conference in the regional response to HIV will be the topic of the plenary on the morning of 20 November, with a talk by management consultant Osborne Nurse from Trinidad and Tobago.
The conference track on research within particular populations will include Marcus Day, director of the Caribbean Drug Abuse Research Institute in Castries, Saint Lucia, and Cristina A. Francisco Reyes from the Dominican Republic’s National Council on Disability, among others.
The conference track on legal, ethical, cultural, spiritual and leadership issues will include work by Rose-Marie Antoine and Brendan Bain, both from the University of the West Indies, and Carl Buncamper from the island of Saba in the Netherlands Antilles, among others.
The conference track on epidemiology, basic science and vaccine research includes Moisés Agosto-Rosario, a programme manager with the Caribbean Treatment Action Group in Puerto Rico, Ellen L. Koenig, medical director of the Dominican Institute for the Study of Viruses (Instituto Dominicano de Estudios Virológicos or IDEV) in the Dominican Republic and Carmen D. Zorrilla, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Maternal Infant Studies Center at the University of Puerto Rico medical school.