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The third day of the International AIDS Society's 6th Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011) provided more questions than answers. Following the exuberance that greeted Monday's session at which researchers detailed results from one trial showing earlier HIV treatment profoundly (by 96%) reduced HIV transmission rates, and two other trials showing administration of antiretrovirals (ARVs) to HIV-uninfected individuals could protect heterosexual men and women in Africa from acquiring HIV, researchers here were left to tackle the question of what now?

Although there was not much new data on preventive HIV vaccine research presented at the International AIDS Society's 6th Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011), Susan Barnett of Novartis Vaccines did say that researchers would be deciding this week which gp120 proteins to use as a boost in a planned Phase IIb trial in South Africa. This trial is one of several that are being conducted in the wake of the RV144 trial that showed a canarypox vector prime and gp120 protein boost, in that case AIDSVAX, reduced HIV transmission by approximately 31%.

Treatment IS Prevention

Yesterday at the International AIDS Society's 6th Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011), researchers presented overwhelmingly positive results from three studies evaluating the role of antiretrovirals in preventing HIV transmission. These results heralded in a new catch phrase for the field; rather than treatment as prevention, the session was titled "Treatment IS Prevention."

Starting this evening, more than 5,000 delegates will gather in Rome for the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011). Although prevention comes last in the title, it is the topic that will garner the greatest attention at this year's meeting.