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Let's Talk HIV Prevention - Prevention among MSM: where we are now and how to go forward

This event is part of the 2011 Let’s Talk HIV Prevention series sponsored by the Enterprise. For more information about these events, click here.

City, Country:  Kunming, Yunnan, China

 Organization Hosting Event:  Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) and the Yunnan MSM Technical Working Group (TWG)

Date/Time:  15 May 2011, 9:00 – 17:00

Location (facility name and address):  Shehui Zhuyi Xueyuan, Kunming, Yunnan

Event Report (submitted by the hosting organization):

There is great interest in China in identifying new preventive interventions that could be used to complement existing methods to stem the tide of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM).
The forum has two objectives: 1. to bring the latest information about recent vaccine trials, PrEP trials, and other new prevention technologies in the pipeline to government, international non government groups, and local community groups working with MSM in Yunnan, China; 2. to learn from these groups about the local situation of MSM and current interventions to control the e

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pidemic in this south-western corner of China.
The forum was attended by health professionals from government agencies including the Bureau of Health, CDC, and government designated ARV treatment hospitals; representatives from international NGOs such as FHI, AIDS Alliance, and PSI; and leaders of local NGO and MSM Community Groups such as Yunnan Parellel, Chunyu, Qicai, and Caiyun.

In the morning, ADARC China programs coordinator presented an overview of new prevention technology currently under research, focusing on pre-exposure prophylaxis and treatment as prevention. Both of these concepts were new to most of the audience. Next presenter from Yunnan Provincial CDC presented the collaboration between the CDC and MSM community groups to carry out HIV prevention intervention among MSMs in Kunming. His presentation pointed out the progress made in such government and community group collaborative efforts in recent years, but also underscored the many challenges faced to control new infections among the MSM community. The morning session closed out with representatives from two community groups—Qicai and Chunyu talking about their experiences and methods in doing prevention outreach and in providing care and support to people infected with HIV in the community.  The afternoon sessions began with a presentation from ADARC program coordinator on the basic concepts of clinical trials, and the importance of community participation and support in a clinical trial. His talk also stressed research as an essential part of HIV prevention. Following his presentation, the participants were then divided into 3 groups. Each group were to discuss based on the previous presentations,  1. What they think the potential benefits could be for the community groups and community members if they were to participate in a future clinical research study; 2. What concerns they have or wha

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t potential challenges exists if they were to participate. 3. What are the current strength of the community groups that would allow them to contribute to such a trial, and 4. What are the groups weakness that would need to be overcome?

The groups had very lively discussions. They strongly felt that new methods needed to be explored in prevention, and their community groups would grow and build capacity if they could participate in a prevention trial. However, there were many concerns as well. Most representatives of community groups were concerned about potential negative effects, both social, such as discrimination and physical, such as side-effects from taking a study drug that could happen to a study volunteer. But they are also concerned about their own community organization, if they were to participating in recruiting volunteers for a trial, and how it would affect their credibility if something negative happens to the volunteer they help to recruit.

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