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CROI Distance Learning Series

February 19, 2009

CHAMP and AVAC worked with partners to bring the information and dialogue from 2009 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) conference to a much broader audience. This was a four-session series with webinars on:

February 19: Introduction: How to Read an Abstract and Understand Research Language

February 26: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Other Topics in Biomedical Prevention Research

March 5: HIV Transmission: Characteristics and Prevention

March 12: HIV Prevention Research: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Click here to view the webinar recordings

Background:
Scientists and clinicians convened at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montréal to present, discuss and critique their research on the biology and epidemiology of HIV. Envisioned as a "meeting of the minds" between laboratory and clinical science, the goal of this annual conference was to translate this research into progress against the AIDS epidemic. For the past several years, prevention has gained a place of prominence at the conference, which previously had focused on treatment issues.

Due to activist pressure during the conference's initial years, this meeting also included AIDS activists and community press. Participation by community members adds a vital voice to the conference by asking critical questions that have broadened and sharpened the perspectives of researchers and other stakeholders attending this important meeting.

Unfortunately, participation remains out of reach to many due to the limited number of scholarship slots as well as financial constraints.

CHAMP and AVAC worked with partners to bring the information and dialogue from the conference to a much broader audience.

The conference broadcasts major conference sessions online, usually posting the sessions the day after they occur.

The Webinar Series:


In order to deepen community understanding and discussion of the prevention research issues discussed at CROI, we provided a series of four webinars that included an overview of the scientific presentations and feature researchers and advocates who discussed CROI sessions.



As in CHAMP and AVAC's previous trainings on prevention research advocacy, participants were encouraged to be active participants and not passive listeners. Each webinar features:

  • An online slide show presented by key researchers and/or advocates
  • Opportunities for dialogue with the presenters
  • Discussion on how each topic fits in a broader research advocacy agenda and opportunities for further engagement in advocacy


Anyone was welcome to participate, including those who were new to prevention research issues as well as those who were engaged in research advocacy efforts at the time. 

Prior to each installment of the series, participants could watch a CROI plenary or workshop session online and review the associated materials. During the webinar itself, researchers spoke to the research in a more informal, accessible and conversational tone and answered questions in a facilitated discussion period.

Through participation in the series, individuals were able to:

  • Improve their skills for reading and interpreting HIV prevention research abstracts and presentations,
  • Understand key HIV prevention issues and research presented at CROI,
  • Increase their capacity to provide input and participate in dialogue with researchers to ensure community concerns are addressed in prevention research, and
  • Consider opportunities for further learning and advocacy opportunities in HIV prevention research


At the end of each webinar and at the end of the series, we discussed how these topics fit into the broader prevention agenda and shared specific next steps that AVAC and CHAMP will be working on with our partners.

The distance-learning program was formatted in four 60- to 75-minute sessions scheduled over a four-week period following CROI. The program was divided into the following topics: How to Read an Abstract and Understand Research Language; Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Other Topics in Biomedical Prevention Research; HIV Transmission: Characteristics and Prevention; and HIV Prevention Research: Looking Back and Moving Forward.

Click links below for webinar playback and to download recordings and presentation materials.

February 19: Introduction: How to Read an Abstract and Understand Research Language
Speakers: Walt Senterfitt, CHAMP and Richard Jefferys, Treatment Action Group
Play back resources:


February 26: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Other Topics in Biomedical Prevention Research

Speaker: Sharon Hillier, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Magee-Womens Research Institute
Moderator: Mitchell Warren, Executive Director, AVAC
Play back resources:


Background resources: Dr. Hillier's presentation is based on the plenary talk she presented at CROI on February 10, 2009.
View the webcast at the CROI 2009 website.

March 5: HIV Transmission: Characteristics and Prevention
Speaker: Monica Ruiz, PhD, MPH, Director of the HIV Prevention Research Program, Forum for Collaborative HIV Research, The George Washington University
Moderator: Walt Senterfitt, PhD, MPH, RN, CHAMP
Play back resources:


Background resources: Dr. Ruiz's presentation is based on the following CROI 2009 oral and poster presentations:


March 12: HIV Prevention Research: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Speaker: Susan Buchbinder, MD, Director, HIV Research Section, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Moderator: Steven Wakefield, Director, Legacy Project, HIV Prevention Trials Network
Play back resources:

  • Note: due to server failure of the webinar provider, a webinar of this session is not available.
  • Listen to audio only (mp3 file)
  • Download Buchbinder's slides (pdf), HIV Prevention


Background resources
: Dr. Buchbinder's talk is based on her presentation to young investigators at CROI on February 8, 2009.
View the webcast at the CROI 2009 site.

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