Public Release: 

Population Council research to be presented at IAS 2015

Population Council

Population Council experts will present research on HIV treatment adherence among young people and risk among adolescent girls and people with disabilities; the impact of health systems strengthening and task-shifting on HIV prevalence and care; and efforts to increase access to quality HIV services for men who have sex with men at the International AIDS Society Conference, to be held 19-22 July in Vancouver, Canada. With 6,000 HIV professionals in attendance, it is the largest global scientific conference on HIV/AIDS.

"The diversity of Council studies presented at IAS 2015 illustrates both the complexity of the challenges confronting the global AIDS response, and the breadth and scope of the Council's research to address those challenges," said Naomi Rutenberg, Population Council vice president and HIV and AIDS program director. "IAS 2015 provides a unique opportunity to examine the latest scientific developments in HIV-related research, and explore how those developments can inform evolving global efforts to more effectively reach the people most in need of HIV prevention, treatment and care."

Highlights of Population Council-led or -supported research on the program in Vancouver include the following:


Evaluating the impact of health system strengthening on HIV and sexual risk behaviors in Nigeria (MOPEC484)

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

The Enhancing Nigeria's Response (ENR) to HIV/AIDS project began as an effort to strengthen health systems in seven Nigerian states in 2008. Sylvia Adebajo, director of the Population Council's HIV and AIDS program in Nigeria, presents this large-scale evaluation of the impact of those efforts on HIV prevalence, sexual risk behaviors, and comprehensive HIV knowledge in the project states.

"You care about us": Exploring use of mobile phones to improve retention in care and facility delivery in Tabora, Tanzania (MOPEC427)

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

This study examines the impact of text-message reminders and transport reimbursement through mobile banking systems, on clinic appointment keeping, facility-based births and the testing and treatment of HIV-exposed infants in a rural, low-literacy population in Tanzania. The study, led by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, is part of the Population Council's USAID-funded HIVCore project.

Also on Monday, 20 July, Sylvia Adebajo, director of the Council's HIV and AIDS program in Nigeria, co-chairs the Oral Poster Discussion session "Implementation challenges among people who inject drugs" (Session MOPDD01), 1:00-2:00 pm in Room 121-122.


Ongoing HIV-transmission risks and factors associated with HIV transmission risks among young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) in Uganda

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

An estimated 40% of new HIV infections worldwide occur among young people. Population Council associate Brady Zieman presents data on the HIV-related behaviors of more than 400 young people living with HIV from the Link Up project, a global consortium led by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. The Population Council and Makerere University's Child Health and Development Centre study provides new insights into young people's use of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV services, HIV disclosure practices, and experiences with stigma and discrimination.

Engaging MSM key opinion leaders to create and sustain HIV and STIs services for a trusted community health centre Lagos, Nigeria (TUPEC595)

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

MSM in Nigeria's Lagos State have an HIV prevalence rate of 15.8%. At the same time, demand for HIV testing and counseling (HTC) services is low, condom use among MSM is below 50%, self-reported STI symptoms are increasing, and fewer than 10% of the population accesses HTC services due to stigma against and the criminalization of MSM. Sylvia Adebajo reports on research from the Henry F. Jackson Foundation on efforts to train MSM as key opinion leaders to generate demand for HIV and STI services among other MSM in the community.

The effectiveness of men who have sex with men (MSM) sensitivity training for Nigerian health care providers (HCPs) (TUPED775)

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

Health care providers (HCPs) in Nigeria receive little or no training on the needs of men who have sex with men (MSM), and most MSM disguise themselves to access services, which limits the quality of care they receive. Sylvia Adebajo presents data from the USAID-funded SHiPS for MARPS (Strengthening HIV/AIDS Prevention Services) project on the knowledge and attitudes of Nigerian HCPs with regard to MSM, the impact of sensitivity training for Nigerian HCPs on knowledge and attitudes, and the likely impact of such training on HCP capacity to provide quality HIV services for MSM.

Reductions in annual ART costs in Uganda: Implications for future ART resource needs and task-shifting (TUPED774)

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

Population Council associate Lung Vu presents estimates of the cost per ART visit for three large AIDS treatment organizations in Uganda that use different service delivery models--a hierarchical model, a mixed-model utilizing standard and task-shifted approaches, and a community outreach approach. In an era of increasing cost pressures on ART delivery, the data present important insights into the relative value of different task-shifting approaches. The study was conducted as part of the USAID-funded HIVCore project.


HSV-2 and HIV infection among vulnerable adolescent girls in Zambia (WEPEC618)

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

Population Council senior associate Paul C. Hewett presents data from the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Programme (AGEP), an intervention to address the heightened vulnerability to HIV and STIs of adolescent girls in Zambia. The study includes new data on the sexual and HIV testing behavior of the population, along with one of the first baseline studies of HIV and HSV-2 incidence among adolescent girls in Zambia.

HIV prevalence and sexual behaviors among people with disabilities in four states in Nigeria (WEPEC631)

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

Sylvia Adebajo presents data from the first study to estimate the seroprevalence of HIV and risk behaviors among people with hearing, vision, and physical impairments in Nigeria. The study, conducted through the Enhancing Nigeria's Response to HIV and AIDS (ENR) programme, reveals that these overlooked populations are at significant risk for infection, and identifies barriers to access and use of HIV prevention services among people with disabilities in the community.

Long Term ART Retention among Adolescents in Rural Uganda

Poster Session | 12:30-2:30 pm | Hall B, West Exhibition Level

In Uganda, adolescent retention in care is challenging, and too often leads to loss to follow-up and negative outcomes. As part of the Population Council's USAID-funded HIVCore project, researchers analyzed factors associated with longer-term retention of adolescents aged 10-19 years in HIV treatment at The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in Uganda. The findings may help guide future efforts to increase retention in treatment of this heavily impacted population.


About the Population Council

The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues--from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.

Media contact

Sherry Hutchinson, or +1 703 508 0057

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.