Researchers in Nigeria, South Africa, and UC Irvine publish a report of the 2013 Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum titled “Getting to zero the biomedical way in Africa: outcomes of deliberation at the 2013 Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum in Abuja, Nigeria”. The article was published in BMC Proceedings (http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcproc/supplements/8/S3)
Over the past few decades, biomedical HIV prevention research had engaged multiple African stakeholders. However, few platforms exist to enable regional stakeholders to engage with one another. In partnership with the World AIDS Campaign International, the Institute of Public Health of Obafemi Awolowo University, and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS in Nigeria, the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society hosted a forum on biomedical HIV prevention research in Africa.
The first Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum was very successful. It hosted 342 international participants, from South Africa, Kenya, the United States, Australia, and most (94.2 percent) from Nigeria. Topics included the use of antiretrovirals for HIV prevention, considerations for biomedical HIV prevention among key populations; HIV vaccine development; HIV cure; community and civil society engagement; and ethical considerations in implementation of biomedical HIV prevention research. Participants identified challenges for implementation of proven efficacious interventions and discovery of other new prevention options for Africa. Concerns included limited funding by African governments, lack of cohesive advocacy and policy agenda for biomedical HIV prevention research and development by Africa, varied ethical practices, and limited support to communities’ capacity to remain actively engaged with the conduct of clinical trials.
Stakeholders explored evidence related to biomedical HIV prevention research and development in Africa, and made recommendations to inform policy, guidelines and the future research agenda. Participants recommended the African Government implement the Abuja +12 declaration, which articulates the need for an African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct “life-saving research for priority health problems in Africa and to serve as a platform to share knowledge and build capacity in responding to the public health emergencies and threats”. Recommendations also included that civil society build stronger partnerships with diverse stakeholders, to develop a coherent advocacy agenda that also enhances community research literacy, and for researchers and sponsors of trials on the African continent to establish a process for determining appropriate standards for trial conduct on the continent.
Manuscript authors include Dr. Morenike Folayan from the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society, Lagos, Nigeria, Dr. Megan Gottemoeller from Salter-Mitchell Consultancy USA, Dr. Rosemary Mburu from the World AIDS Campaign in South Africa, and Dr. Brandon Brown from the GHREAT Initiative at the UC Irvine Program in Public Health.