Towards HIV Curative Strategies - The Next Step Starts Now

Scientific advances towards an HIV cure will be the main topic of the second day of the "International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases".

Toulon, France, June 23, 2011 -- Although there have been major antiretroviral therapy improvements in the last 15 years, there is still no cure for HIV. Dr. Alain Lafeuillade, chair of the "International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases" just published an article in HIV Clinical Trials to sump-up recent advances towards a cure and define the agenda: "Potential Strategies for an HIV Infection Cure". HIV Clinical Trials 2011; 12 (3):121-30. DOI10.1310/hct1203-121.

Lafeuillade stated that research must continue to look towards HIV curative strategies by eliminating the virus from the body completely. He explained that there are limits that may never be overcome with antiretroviral therapy. There are two possible ways generally thought of now towards a cure: these methods are activation of latent HIV, and gene therapy.

The first method removes latent HIV infected cells. Latent HIV means that the HIV is not actively replicating. Current antiretroviral drugs work by blocking replication, so they do not work on latent HIV. Thus, the latent HIV will reactivate if therapy is stopped, and the HIV infection is renewed. The result is that antiretrovirals can never completely remove HIV from the body. Dr. Lafeuillade says that there are gaps in the understanding, including exactly how HIV latency works, and the consequences of activating HIV.

The second method towards HIV curative strategies is gene therapy. Gene therapy is in the early stages of clinical testing. In these tests, the genetic information in a cell is modified so that it becomes resistant to HIV infection. Cells are taken from a patient, genetically modified, and injected back into the patient. Other avenues for treatment include gene therapy to block immune cells from infection, turning off HIV genes, and heightening the immune systems response. These new methods will be presented on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at ISHEID. ‘Searching for a Cure’ will be the main topic of this day at the International Symposium of HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases.

HIV infection is still a global threat. It has major challenges ahead. Addressing socioeconomic aspects are vital. Access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care are in danger. ISHEID strives to promote current scientific advances, and strengthen the global pledge to continue to fight aids and seek cures. Through ISHEID, key opinion leaders meet. Participants include clinicians, specialists, professors, biologists, researchers, and practitioners. Sessions, presentations, symposia, workshops, and plenary lectures are scheduled. This ensures that a platform to present new scientific advances towards HIV curative strategies is being utilized. Dialogue on major issues concerning HIV/AIDS occurs, and infectious diseases need the same global approach. The ISHEID congress makes this possible.

Alain Lafeuillade
83056 Toulon, France
Tel: 33-4-94616340

Visit impact investment summit says AAA

Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA), the alternative investment consultancy, is inviting people who want to make a difference to the world while making money to visit this year's Impact Investing Summit.

Boston, MA, USA, June 23, 2011 -- As impact investing becomes an increasingly valid option for people who want to make a difference while making money, this year’s Impact Investing Summit, is likely to be a popular event. This is according to alternative and ethical investment advocacy organization, Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA), which is urging interested parties to attend.

The summit is running from 20-21 September in Washington and will focus on equipping investors with the information they need to make a profitable decision on where to invest their money. The event’s website says it will: "Arm you with the tools and knowledge you need to commit to tomorrow’s most profitable impact investments from water and energy to health and housing."

JP Morgan last year stated, "Impact Investing will reveal itself to be one of the most powerful changes within the asset management industry in the years to come.” This statement reflects the general consensus that investing in emerging economies now will generate benefits in the future. Not just for the investors, but for the enterprises and small business that receive the funding – and of course the wider communities that share in their upturn in fortunes.

Individuals and funds alike are increasingly looking towards ethical choices when examining their options for where to invest. If it is possible to help communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to prosper while generating healthy income, who wouldn't choose this option?” asked AAA’s analyst partner Anthony Johnson, who is a major advocate of the impact investment model. He also supports ethical investments such as the opportunities offered in Brazil through firms like Greenwood Management that run plantations of non-native timber sustainably to help reduce deforestation.

AAA realizes the path to finding the right investment option is complicated and complex, so attending this year’s summit really is a must for all those interested in a serious foray into the market. The summit organizers hope to equip those attending with guidance on matters including ‘what’s worth investing in?’. This is important as it will provide information about which investments and impact areas offer the lowest risk and the highest returns.

Representatives from funds including the Shell Foundation, and the Calvert Foundation will be on hand to give advice and offer expert guidance.

Anthony Johnson
Alternative Asset Analysis
71 Commercial St
Boston, MA 02109-1320

FRA welcomes Sustainable Forestry Initiative pilot bioenergy project

Forestry Research Associates has announced its support for the new woody biomass procurement project, launched by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

Bainbridge Island, WA, USA, June 23, 2011 -- A new woody biomass procurement project, launched by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), has attracted support from Forestry Research Associates (FRA).

The research and advisory consultancy provides fresh outlooks and consultancy services on all matters surrounding forestry investment, sustainability and forestry management and has spoken out in support of the new pilot scheme. The plan is to support sustainable forestry management by helping US-based bioenergy companies to purchase woody biomass.

Both parties agree that bioenergy is a major market for the forestry sector and that in order to maintain the health of the resource, ‘appropriate steps should be in place for the procurement of forest fibre.’

The focus is on developing a procurement system that is fair and responsible,” explained FRA’s analysis partner Peter Collins. His view was backed by TNC’s Chief External Officer, Glenn Prickett, who added, “Woody biomass can be a great source of renewable energy and offers an excellent incentive so landowners can maintain their forests as forests – as long the forest is managed responsibly.”

The main technique will be to impose the Sustainable Forestry initiative’s Fiber Sourcing requirements on the procurement processes. This will be the key to the whole project, according to Prickett who added, “TNC is interested in this project with SFI to explore how the SFI Standard’s unique Fiber Sourcing requirements can address the need of responsible procurement of woody biomass for bioenergy facilities while managing for important forest values.”

FRA added that the initiative is intended to ensure that all sources of woody biomass are responsible, which will help add legitimacy to the industry as a whole and will also help to nurture it as a major source of income for forestry managers and investors.

The SFI has already made great inroads into helping to promote sustainable forestry in the US. Some 180 million acres of forest now carry the certified SFI forest management standard mark, which makes it the largest standard of its kind in the world.

The fact that the SFI and TNC are adding their weight to the bioenergy industry will help hugely to improve its reputation and encourage investment and fair procurement processes,” added Peter Collins.

Peter Collins
Forestry Research Associates
620 Vineyard Lane, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 USA
(206) 316 8394