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3rd Structural Drivers of the Epidemic Conference Forms

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As HEARD’s website is experiencing temporary technical difficulties, registration, abstract submission, and scholarship application forms are now available here.  We are looking forward to showcasing Swaziland research at the conference as well as networking events in Cape Town this coming December — don’t forget to join us!  The deadline for registration, abstract submission, and scholarship application is 30 September.  Please contact the administrator with any questions.

Abstract Deadline Extension

The abstract deadline has been extended until 30 September for the third Structural Drivers Conference in Cape Town.  You have 10 more days to submit your abstracts.  We are looking forward to being able to host a special SARN session, and to seeing SARN members and those who are interested in Cape Town this December.

Call For Abstracts

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The Third Structural Drivers of HIV Conference will be held in Cape Town on 5 and 6 December, immediately preceding the ICASA conference.  In collaboration with HEARD, SARN will present a special Swaziland session at the conference.  This is an exciting opportunity, and we encourage as many researchers and community members as possible to submit abstracts.

Due to the late notice, the abstract deadline for Swazi research will be extended from 13 September to 20 September.  Abstracts must be no more than 350 words.  Further information and submission guidelines can be found at the conference website, or you can contact the SARN administrator
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SARN at ICASA 2013

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The International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) will be held in Cape Town this year from December 7 – 11. The theme of the conference is “Now more than ever: Targeting Zero.” We are pleased to announce that SARN will be hosting several meetings and networking opportunities throughout the week.

A detailed program guide to all Swaziland related research will be sent out as soon as that information becomes available, as well as further information on SARN meetings and receptions.

In keeping with our mission to promote collaborative, multidisciplinary research that is accessible, useful, and sustainable, SARN especially encourages practitioners, advocates, and community based organizations who are working in Swaziland in the fight against HIV to submit to ICASA.

Both scholarship applications and abstract submissions are due on June 20th. More information is available at the ICASA website.

Assistance with polishing abstracts and scholarship motivations is available, and requests can be made by contacting the SARN site administrator.

A Functional Cure

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Some remarkable HIV related news made headlines early this week: An American baby born HIV positive may have been ‘functionally cured’ by early aggressive treatment. There are many caveats to this news, of course.  We don’t know yet what the treatment implications will be, or what this means for the 17000 HIV exposed babies who are born in Swaziland each year, but in a field where so much of our news is bad new let’s take a moment to feel good about this.

In my opinion, prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) has been one of the great success stories in the fight against HIV.  In Swaziland, thanks to programs like Mothers2Mothers, the support of international partners, the dedication of NERCHA and the Ministry of Health, and the tireless efforts of nurses and clinical care providers in antenatal clinics around the country, the risk of mother to child transmission in Swaziland has been reduced to 5%. (Source: Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Swaziland)

Step by step, unfaltering provider by provider, and discovery by discovery, we are winning.  I think sometimes it’s worth taking a moment to breathe deep and remember that.  Together, we will build the first HIV free generation.  Together, we are going to win.

You can watch free online webcasts of the CROI conference, where the announcement takes place at the link below.

CROI 2013: Is there hope for HIV eradication? 

Welcome

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SARN Members at AIDS 2012Welcome to the SARN website, a place where researchers, students, policy makers, and advocates can come together for vibrant discussions, debates, and knowledge sharing around HIV research in Swaziland. An important part of that process will be these blog entries and so let me begin with a brief, and highly personal, history of SARN.
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Swaziland National Health and Research Conference

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From November 7-9 I had the privilege of representing both HEARD and SARN at the Ministry of Health’s second biennial Swaziland National Health and Research Conference. I presented research on food insecurity in sex workers who are living with HIV in the country – a project done in in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, PSI, Johns Hopkins, and many other partners the previous year – and spent the rest of my time listening and learning from other presenters. It was an amazing success. According to the Ministry of Health, over 500 people attended – clinicians, researchers, advocates, politicians, and community members spent the three days learning about and discussing the role of health systems and research in the country. I felt quite privileged to be a part of the crowd.
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