HIV researchers, young investigators and pioneers honoured

Leadership in HIV research and efforts to improve access to HIV prevention and treatment were recognised through prizes and awards presented at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017). The IAS and its partners presented prizes for outstanding research in HIV, including exceptional research by young investigators; grants and fellowships to support promising new investigators in paediatric HIV; and awards recognising outstanding efforts to improve access to HIV care and reduce stigma for key populations.

“Science is the backbone of the global HIV response. The IAS and our partners are committed to recognising, fostering and promoting that excellence in HIV research,” said IAS President Linda-Gail Bekker. “These awards present a model and benchmark for researchers everywhere, and support the next generation of investigators whose work can help to change the course of this epidemic.”

Winners of the 2017 Awards

A number of prizes recognize outstanding research presented at IAS 2017 by young investigators, and/or investigators working in particular fields of study including HIV cure research, the interplay of HIV and tuberculosis or research into aspects of the epidemic that impact women and girls.  Among the recipients of these prizes are:

Women, Girls and HIV Investigator’s Prize
Presented by: Raymonde Goudou Coffie (Ministre de la Santé et de l’Hygiène Publique, Côte d’Ivoire)

The Women, Girls and HIV Investigator’s Prize supports a young investigator from a resource-limited setting whose abstract demonstrates excellence in research and/or practices that address women, girls and gender issues related to HIV and AIDS.  The $2,000 prize is offered by IAS and UNAIDS, and supported by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) and the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW).  The Women, Girls and HIV Investigator’s Prize at IAS 2017 is awarded to:

  • Brendan Maughan-Brown, South Africa “HIV and HSV-2 risk among young women in age-disparate partnerships: evidence from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”

IAS TB/HIV Research Prizes
Presented by Anton Pozniak (IAS) and Haileyesus Getahun (WHO)

The two $1,000 IAS TB/HIV Research Prizes are awarded to generate interest and stimulate research on basic, clinical and operational issues in TB/HIV prevention, care and treatment.  The prizes are awarded to the two top scoring abstracts in the areas of TB/HIV co-infection and the operational effectiveness of TB/HIV collaborative services.
The IAS TB/HIV Research Prizes at IAS 2017 are awarded to:

  • Sekai Chenai Mathabire, Zimbabwe “Feasibility of using determine-TB LAM test in HIV-infected adults in programmatic conditions”
  • Boris Tchakounte Youngui, France “Incidence of tuberculosis in the first year of antiretroviral treatment in West-African HIV-infected adults”

Me and My Healthcare Provider Awards
Presented by Deborah Birx (U.S. Department of State)

The IAS Me and My Healthcare Provider campaign, part of the IAS Nobody Left Behind initiative, focuses on the needs of key populations affected by HIV – men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, sex workers and people who inject drugs  –  and on the efforts of dedicated healthcare providers to increase access to care for these individuals, often in the face of discriminatory laws, traditions and beliefs.  Members of key populations nominate care providers who are doing an outstanding job in overcoming these obstacles to providing high quality HIV prevention, treatment and care.  The champions of the Me and My Healthcare Provider Awards at IAS 2017 are:

  • Luisa Ang, Provincial Instalation Pharmacy Manager of the Provincial Health Office Papua, Jayapura, Indonesia, for her efforts to ensure consistent and timely access to antiretroviral therapy (ARV), including second-line therapies, for a patient population that includes people who inject drugs.
  • Stella Chege, Nurse Counsellor at the Minority Persons Empowerment Program (MPEG), which serves men who have sex with men (MSM) and male sex workers (MSW) in Thika, Kenya – for her efforts to provide quality and compassionate healthcare to an often marginalized community.
  • Neo Nametso Monnapula, Social Worker at the Nkaikela Youth Group in Garbone, Botswana, for her work to support ARV adherence and address the multiple daily living needs of a client base that includes young female sex workers (FSW).

IAS-ANRS Lange/van Tongeren Prize for Young Investigators
Presented by Linda-Gail Bekker (IAS) and François Dabis (ANRS) 

Named in honor of Joep Lange and Jacqueline van Tongeren, the four $2,000 Lange-van Tongeren Young Investigator Prizes are jointly funded by the IAS and the France Recherche Nord & Sud Sida-HIV Hépatites (ANRS), and are awarded to the top-scoring abstract in each of the four conference tracks with a presenting author under 35 years of age.  The Lange-van Tongeren Prize for Young Investigators at IAS 2017 are awarded to:

Track A – Basic Science
Christine Fennessey, United States “Assessing individual viral reactivations of the latent reservoir using a novel barcoded virus”

Track B – Clinical Science
Nithya Srinivas, United States “SHIV infection and drug transporters influence brain tissue concentrations of efavirenz”

Track C –Prevention Science
Kelly Kilburn, United States “The effect of a conditional cash transfer for HIV prevention on the experience of partner violence for young women: evidence from a randomized experiment in South Africa HPTN 068”

Track D – Implementation Science
Margaret Prust, United States “Multi-month refills of antiretroviral drugs for stable patients in Malawi: assessing accuracy in the application of eligibility criteria at the health facility level”

IAS-ANRS Dominique Dormont Prize

Presented by Linda-Gail Bekker (IAS), François Dabis (ANRS) and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (Dominique Dormont Association)
The $5,000 IAS-ANRS Dominique Dormont prize is funded by the Dominique Dormont Association to support young researchers working on chronic health conditions, with a particular focus on the interface between HIV and other chronic diseases.  The prize recognizes researchers who demonstrate originality, rationale, quality and a multidisciplinary and integrative approach in the field of HIV and AIDS research.

The IAS-ANRS Dominique Prize was awarded to Maria Salgado, Spain for her abstract “Achievement of Full Donor Chimerism with Episodes of Alloreactivity Contributes to Reduce the HIV Reservoir After Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation.”

IAS and ViiV Healthcare Combating Stigma & Discrimination in Healthcare Settings Award
Presented by Deborah Waterhouse (ViiV Healthcare)

Presented by the IAS and its partner, ViiV Healthcare, the £100,000 IAS and ViiV Healthcare Combating Stigma & Discrimination in Healthcare Settings Award recognizes solutions that reduce stigma and discrimination against key populations in healthcare settings, leading to increased uptake of primary prevention options and Voluntary Counselling and Testing, and/or reduction in Loss to Follow Up through retention in care.  The recipients of the 2017 IAS/ViiV Healthcare Award are:

Doan Thanh Tung, Director of Lighthouse Social Enterprise, and Le Minh Thanh, Director of G-Link Vietnam, for their innovative efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination in Vietnam: zero discrimination and violence to zero HIV.

2017 CIPHER Research Grants
Presented by Linda-Gail Bekker (IAS)

The IAS Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) provides research grants of up to $150,000 each over two years to support critically important research by early-stage investigators working to advance the diagnosis, treatment and care of infants, children and adolescents affected by HIV in resource-limited settings.  The winners of the 2017 CIPHER research grants, selected as the most innovative and promising study proposals received from applicants from 30 countries, are:

  • Andrew McCrary, whose CIPHER-supported research will evaluate indicators of cardiac function in children living with HIV in Kenya.
  • Amy Slogrove, whose work will address whether antiretroviral therapy can protect against maternal hypertensive disorders in pregnancy and associated adverse birth outcomes in HIV-infected women in South Africa.
  • Wipaporn Songtaweesin, whose research will advance strategies to promote adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among youth at risk for HIV in Thailand.
  • Ute Feucht, whose work will assess the factors that impact fetal and infant immunity and growth in HIV- and antiretroviral-exposed uninfected children in South Africa.

Growing the Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowships
Presented by Linda-Gail Bekker (IAS)

CIPHER’s new Growing the Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowship Programme strengthens paediatric HIV clinical research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa by providing promising early-stage investigators with two year, $70,000 research fellowships, and by supporting their connections with internationally renowned mentors to help guide their investigations in paediatric HIV.  Recipients of the first Growing the Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowships, selected from applicants from 7 countries, include:

  • Adrie Bekker of South Africa who, working with mentor Prof. Mark Cotton, will study the pharmacokinetic and safety characteristics of nevirapine and lopinavir/ritonavir in HIV-exposed and infected low birth weight infants in South Africa.
  • Namangolwa Jane Mutanga, of Zambia who, under the guidance of mentor Prof. Philip Thuma, will study the long term health outcomes and survival of perinatally HIV-exposed children in Zambia.

“The IAS and its partners congratulate the outstanding researchers, service providers and advocates receiving awards at IAS 2017,” said IAS President Linda-Gail Bekker.  “Their exceptional efforts provide an example to everyone working in the global HIV response.”