Message from the President of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society
Were you at the last Southern African HIV Clinicians Society conference? If not, you missed out. If you were, I am sure you will be pleased to know that we are holding another one in September this year.
We tried, at our inaugural conference, to cater for all HIV clinicians. So whether you are an infectious diseases physician, a NIMART nurse, a general practitioner, an HIV specialist or anything in between, we included something for you. After our first conference, we got feedback from the participants, and we took it to heart. In addition we have consulted with the International AIDS Society to get pointers from them on running a world class conference.
We are working on the agenda… Local and international speakers will present the latest on treatment, prevention, basic science and ethics to mention a few. We will have lively debates and skills building are on the agenda. We assure you the programme will not be dull and boring.
It is our aim that when you leave, you will be a better HIV clinician. So please diarise the dates. We will be asking you to submit your work as abstracts and encourage you to join us – We guarantee your time will be well spent.
Dr Francesca Conradie
Welcome from the Conference Chair
The 2012 Society clinical conference was an amazing success – great attendance, great talks, great venue, and terrific feedback from delegates. 2012 chair Prof Gary Maartens and the Society staff made it impossible not to have another one.
Clinical HIV has not slowed down – new WHO guidelines for CD4 initiation thresholds have challenged the system, and PMTCT is awash with controversy again. I am aware of several new antiretrovirals about to hit our shores, and further price reductions making old drugs more readily available. Worrying long term side effects with some of our commonly used drugs have started to emerge, and dose reduction studies have suggested we are over-dosing our patients. Even old chestnuts like opportunistic infection prophylaxis and screening, adherence maintenance, and HIV prevention have some fresh studies to help us along. In a confusing world, it’s good to get together and hear from the coalface.
So, clear your diaries for 24 – 27 September 2014, as we head for Cape Town again and a dizzying array of excellent speakers, skills building sessions, debates, challenging cases and research findings. We are assembling our organising committee from across the country, to ensure that every aspect of HIV medicine is covered. We are also debating and releasing new guidelines – at the 2012 conference, the release of the new adult guidelines was a huge success, with people staying on late into the evening to hear the new recommendations and ask questions. We’ll use the time to elect new members to the Society and hold our regular annual general meeting, so that the maximum number of people can participate.
See you there
Prof Francois Venter