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PlusNews Weekly Issue 254, 7 October 2005

1. Male Circumcision and HIV - factsheet

It is not known definitively whether and to what degree providing circumcision to men in cultures where male circumcision is not practiced would result in a reduced incidence of HIV infection. Numerous observational studies indicate that circumcised men have lower levels of HIV infection than uncircumcised men. HIV prevalence is lower in populations that traditionally practice male circumcision than in those parts of Africa or Southeast Asia where most men are not circumcised. However, it is unclear to what extent this may be the result of a biological effect of circumcision or whether other factors, including cultural and social ones, may also play a role.

UNAIDS has produced a factsheet on Male Circumcision and HIV:

2. ICASA 2005 - Call for Late Breaker Abstracts

The organisers of the 14th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) 2005, Abuja, Nigeria, from 3 to 9 December 2005, are calling for interested persons to submit late-breaker abstracts for the conference.

Late-breaker abstract submissions will be accepted from 1 to 14 October 2005 and can be submitted online on the ICASA website. (

Abstracts could be in the areas of basic sciences, social sciences, health-related issues, community-related topics, youth, gender, the family, trials, human rights ethical issues, clinical issues, and care and support. All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by panellists. When accepted, authors will be notified and the abstracts will appear in their full form in the conference abstract book and on the abstract CD-ROM.

The abstract guidelines, submission form and other conference-related information, including sub-tracts/sub-themes, non-abstract-driven sessions, plenary sessions and round-table sessions, are currently available on the conference website:

3. Request for Proposals

The American Foundation for AIDS Research has announced the availability of support for targeted biomedical research projects relevant to understanding, mitigating and preventing HIV transmission and infection.

Improving prevention strategies that would complement risk behaviour modification approaches is a top priority in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A better understanding of the events that surround and affect transmission and infection would aid in the development of new methods of preventing infection or diminishing its spread after infection has taken place. Recent research suggests there are several time points at which interventions could help prevent or modify HIV infection: before transmission takes place; after transmission, but before pro-viral integration; and after integration, but before the generalised spread of infection.

amfAR wishes to promote the development of practical strategies that could be used at any of these time points.

The request for proposals (RFP), forms and instructions are posted at

The Letter of Intent submission deadline is November 8 2005.

Funding is available.


- US $75,000 direct costs for one year starting January 1 2006.

Investigators must be faculty-level researchers affiliated with a non-profit institution.


- US $35,000 salary/fringe and $10,000 for supplies (direct costs) for each of two years, starting 1 January 2006. Fellowship applicants are to be postdoctoral investigators with limited experience in the field seeking to further advance a career in HIV/AIDS research, and must be sponsored by an experienced HIV/AIDS scientist at the associate professor level or higher. Fellow and sponsor must be affiliated with the same non-profit institution.

Please see the RFP posted at for complete details. amfAR grants are made to non-profit organisations worldwide. If you experience difficulty accessing the RFP or downloading the instructions and forms, please contact .




AFRICA: Interview with Dr Jim Yong Kim, WHO HIV/AIDS director
KENYA: Fish trade aiding the spread of HIV/AIDS
KENYA: HIV/AIDS a major health issue in western province
KENYA: Cultural traditions fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS
AFRICA: Beyond ABC - The challenge of prevention


AIDS Media Center
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
International HIV/AIDS Alliance

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.

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