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HIV Cure Research, Brain Health & Housing on the Agenda at the OHTN Research Conference

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov 7, 2012) - More than 600 people from around the world will convene in a downtown Toronto hotel from November 11-13 for the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) Research Conference which will cover a wide range of issues related to HIV/AIDS. The OHTN Research Conference, one of the biggest conferences of its kind in Canada, will bring together community members, research scientists, clinicians, students, policy makers, service providers and people living with HIV at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Scientists from around the world continue to zero in on a cure for HIV. Researchers are discovering new links between brain health and HIV and are also exploring relationships between housing, health and HIV. These are just three of the many topics that will be discussed over the two-and-a-half days of the conference.

This Sunday at 4pm the opening plenary will feature one of the world leaders in HIV cure research in Robert F. Siliciano and Ontario scientist Brad Jones who is a researcher at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. This plenary will explore vital issues related to cure research, including what we''ve learned, the potential for a cure, which approaches show the greatest promise, and the role of Canadian and Ontarian researchers in the quest for a cure.

Another groundbreaking plenary is on HIV and brain health - an extremely important topic as half of people living with HIV will develop cognitive impairments at some point in their lives. As well, an Ontario research team will present the results of a longitudinal study on the link between housing and health, confirming that housing plays a key role in improving health and access to health care for people with HIV. These plenaries and many more highlight cutting edge HIV research in Ontario and around the world.

The theme of this year''s conference is Research with Real-Life Impact and will focus on research that has had tangible outcomes and impacts on the lives of people living with HIV. The two-and-a-half day event will showcase new and emerging HIV/AIDS research findings in basic and clinical science, epidemiology, prevention, intervention and community-based research - and will include more than 150 presentations, skill-building workshops, discussion forums and keynote addresses from internationally-respected HIV scholars, community members and policy makers on the most advanced research in HIV treatment, prevention and care. The full session descriptions, times and speaker bios are available online.

Hilton Toronto Hotel   Sunday, November 11   Jason Helbig
145 Richmond Street West   Monday, November 12   416 642 6486 x2212
416 869 3456   Tuesday, November 13   877 743 6486

Conference highlights include:

• Closer to a Cure?

Researchers Robert F. Siliciano, MD, Ph.D. (John Hopkins University School of Medicine) and Brad Jones, Ph.D. (Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard) will share new innovative approaches to developing a cure for HIV.

• HIV and Brain Health

About 50% of people living with HIV will develop cognitive impairments that will affect their attention span, memory, and learning and thinking skills. This panel of international leaders in neuroAIDS will discuss what we know about mild neurocognitive disorders and the work underway to address this urgent health need.

• HIV and Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)

Patrick Sullivan, DVM, Ph.D. (Emory University''s Rollins School of Public Health) will present his research on Successes and Challenges of HIV Prevention in Men who have Sex with Men and present modeling and strategies designed to counter re-emerging HIV epidemics in MSM.

• Living Longer = Living Well? Aging with HIV

Thanks to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), people with HIV are now living much longer and face complications associated with the virus, treatment side effects, and high rates of comorbidities. In this plenary session panelists will discuss some of the challenges of aging with HIV as well as strategies to support people as they age.

• Teens with HIV - Movin'' On! Transition of Adolescents Living with HIV to Adult Care

Jason Brophy, M.D. (Children''s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa) and Ari Bitnun, M.D. (The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto) will review the issues faced by HIV-infected youth transitioning from the pediatric to the adult care setting.

• Raise the Roof: HIV, Housing and Health

A growing body of evidence has reinforced the critical importance of stable, affordable, appropriate housing and support services for people living with HIV. Members of the Positive Spaces Healthy Places research team will highlight the findings, its impact on research, the role of peers, policy, programs and services for people with HIV.

 More than 150 Abstract and Poster presentations 

• Meet and exchange ideas with colleagues, practitioners, front-line workers, basic scientists, policy makers and others in the community.