International AIDS Society

Track Scope and Objectives

The scientific track is the general heading under which your abstract will be reviewed and later published in the conference printed matters if accepted. Please choose the scientific track that best describes the subject of your abstract. During the submission process, you will also be asked to select a track category, a second sub-heading within the scientific track. The list of track categories is available here.

Track A: Basic Science

This track will cover research on global HIV diversity, early transmission of the virus and HIV pathogenesis in the context of host-virus interactions and their consequences. Particular attention will be given to advances in drug, microbicide and vaccine development that aim to prevent infection. This track will specifically address systemic inflammation, pathogenesis of disease progression, and morbidity and mortality from both AIDS-related and non-AIDS-related diseases in the era of suppressive antiretroviral treatment (ART). This track will further highlight advances in basic research on the influence of opportunistic infections, TB, and co-infections with hepatitis C (HCV) and hepatitis B (HBV) on HIV disease course and immune control. Emphasis will be placed on new technologies in these areas, as well as on new diagnostic tools for the immunological and virological monitoring of HIV infection.

Track A will also focus on the general theme of understanding the unique human host response to HIV infection. This subject will be examined through its key aspects: interspecies differences in susceptibility to infection and disease; human resistance to infection (exposed uninfected people); human resistance to disease progression (elite controllers and long-term non-progressors); and novel host restriction factors. These aspects will all be considered in the context of the identification and characterization of latent HIV cellular reservoirs with a view towards eradication and functional cures.

Track B: Clinical Science

Sustaining long-term goals of providing HIV care, treatment and therapeutic prevention is an important focus of this track. Track B will highlight the latest research findings, complexities and controversies related to: the natural history, diagnosis and management of HIV infection; antiretroviral therapy (ART) and immunotherapy; the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections and co-infections, including TB, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections; and other co-morbidities. Issues for discussion related to ART will include new drug therapies, the impact of therapies on HIV reservoirs, pharmacokinetics, drug interactions, adherence to treatment, treatment simplification and drug resistance. Short- and long-term adverse events will also be discussed, including cardiovascular, renal and hepatic complications and non-AIDS malignancies. Approaches to treatment, care and support among all people at risk of, vulnerable to, or living with HIV will be addressed, as well as innovations related to the provision of HIV care in resource-limited settings.

Track B will include discussions on ethical and human rights issues related to clinical research. The application of basic research findings to HIV treatment and care is important as it fosters further basic science research. This important synergy between basic and clinical sciences research will be explored.

Track C: Epidemiology and Prevention Science

This track will focus on epidemiology and HIV/AIDS prevention science research. Sessions in this track will encompass the full spectrum of methodological and technological advances in these research disciplines. Track C will address HIV prevention research at both individual and population levels. Topics of particular interest include interdisciplinary and/or combined prevention approaches, efforts to promote preparedness and introduction of biomedical prevention technologies, with particular focus on HIV testing, treatment of HIV infection to prevent transmission, pre-exposure prophylaxis, adult and neonatal circumcision, microbicides, vaccines, community viral load-based approaches, prevention of HIV transmission from HIV-positive individuals (“prevention for positives”), practices, behaviours or technologies that increase individual risk of HIV infection,. use of electronic and new media, and other methods. The track is concerned with all people who are vulnerable to, at risk of, or living with HIV. Structural interventions for HIV prevention are of specific interest.

Track C will also include discussions on ethical and human rights issues related to prevention research. The track will address advances in epidemiologic methods, including surveillance, molecular epidemiology, and mathematical modeling, good participatory practice as well as the epidemiology of HIV infection in countries or regions where the epidemic is changing. Factors that might influence HIV transmission and acquisition, such as STIs and hormonal contraception, will also be considered.

Track D: Social Science, Human Rights and Political Science

This track will focus on the social, political, behavioural, and human rights factors influencing HIV risk, vulnerability, response, and impact as assessed in rigorous scientific studies and legal and policy analyses. Presentations will examine theoretical and methodological approaches in social science, human rights, and political science; qualitative and quantitative assessments of social, political, and legal factors influencing HIV epidemics and the responses to them (including social, structural and behavioural interventions); and issues in the translation of social and political science evidence and human rights frameworks into practice (including policy and programmes) at all levels - global, national, local, community, individual. This track will include discussion of ethical issues related to social and behavioural research and it will address all people at risk of, vulnerable to, and/or living with HIV. Finally, this track will address capacity-building in HIV social and human rights research, as well as community-participatory research and evaluation.

Track D invites submissions from the full range of social (including behavioural) science disciplines - especially sociology, anthropology, political science, demography, and psychology - as well as from legal and human rights scholars and analysts, social-epidemiologists, and evaluation researchers. This track also welcomes submissions from community-based programme implementers and advocates who are engaged in the translation and evaluation of social and political science research and human rights frameworks into practice, policy, programmes, and monitoring and evaluation efforts.

Track E: Implementation Science, Health Systems and Economics

This track will examine the ways in which HIV programmes affect both clinical and non-clinical outcomes, including global health indicators, health systems functioning (including in crisis settings), financing and efficiency, economic growth, human development and cost-effectiveness. Science from the track will aim to inform the allocation of resources to different sectors in the fight against the epidemic. There will be particular interest in implementation science, human and economic resource issues, including task shifting, programmatic efficiency, and ethics of care provision. In addition, the effect of health systems status on the design, implementation and effectiveness of HIV programmes at local, regional and national levels will be addressed.

Track E will also evaluate the impact of HIV prevention, care and treatment programme scale-up and implementation. Operations research related to the effectiveness of interventions, as well as research on improving resource allocation for HIV prevention and care, will be addressed. Research on the effectiveness of community structures and participation will be encouraged, including the role of the community in health systems strengthening. Cost analyses, budgetary impact analyses and cost-effectiveness analyses will be included in this track.