Advances in HIV prevention and program implementation were among the topics in the spotlight at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) this week. We spoke with Eugene McCray, MD, Director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) to get his reflections on some of the conference highlights. The division he oversees works to prevent HIV infections and reduce the incidence of HIV-related illness and death across the United States. Read more about their work.
During our live interview on Facebook, Dr. McCray discussed research being presented by CDC researchers at the conference, other HIV prevention research findings shared here at the conference, and shares his personal reflection on what how it feels like to be at this conference at this stage of the epidemic. View our conversation with him below and read more about what he discussed below that.
Dr. McCray highlighted some of the research being presented by CDC researchers at the conference. This included findings from a joint CDC and Emory University study evaluating the impact of PrEP on new HIV transmissions in the U.S. between 2012-2016. The study found that the number of people taking PrEP was significantly correlated with a decrease in new HIV diagnoses. You can read the abstract here.
Dr. McCray also spoke about the results of the Care and Prevention in the United States (CAPUS) study, which is funded by the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF). The goal of CAPUS is to improve HIV morbidity and mortality rates in populations at greatest risk for HIV, particularly racial/ethnic minorities.
CAPUS was carried out in 12 cities, using CDC's "Data to Care" approach. This involves identifying people who are living with HIV but are not currently engaged in care and relinking them to care and treatment. The study was successful in relinking/reengaging 80 percent of African Americans and 74 percent of Latinos living with HIV in care.
Dr. McCray discussed other themes he heard at the conference including the benefits of PrEP in preventing new HIV infections. He also spoke briefly about discussions at AIDS 2018 on how "precision data" can lead to "precision data."
AIDS 2018 gathered over 15,000 HIV researchers, public health experts, policy makers and members of the HIV affected community from 160 nations to share and discuss the latest HIV science and innovations in prevention and treatment. Check out our other coverage from AIDS 2018 here on the blog and on Facebook.