INTEREST Conference makes history with record-breaking number of attendees

An annual conference has only just begun and it has already made history.

More than 700 attendees are expected to attend INTEREST, an annual HIV-focused conference in Kigali, Rwanda which kicks off today. It is the largest crowd ever – previous years have seen between 400 and 500 attendees. This year’s event is being held at the Kigali Convention Centre.

The 12th annual event, co-founded by the late Professor Joep Lange of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) and Professor Charles Boucher of Erasmus University takes place May 29 to June 1. The event is co-organized annually by AIGHD and Virology Education.

Known as the “African CROI”, the INTEREST Conference brings together scientists involved in HIV treatment, pathogenesis, and prevention research from around the world to share pivotal findings, promote collaboration, and transfer experiences across several fields and continents including Africa, Europe and North America.

The African-based conference showcases cutting-edge knowledge in HIV diagnosis and treatment and in HIV prevention.

“The sheer growth we have seen in the number of students, scientists, and clinicians attending INTEREST over the past few years speaks to the growing impact of this important conference,” said AIGHD researcher and INTEREST co-chair Cate Hankins.

“The conference continues to build a community among the African physicians, scientists, and students who attend. It facilitates connections among peers from around the world as they discuss how best to implement treatment programs locally while helping prevent HIV transmission.”

For patients and their families, this means greater access to the most appropriate care and to up-to-date information from their treatment providers about the HIV epidemic.

This year’s program includes presentations and sessions on a number of key topics, including:

  • Progress in HIV treatment and clinical monitoring of patients in Africa
  • Progress in HIV vaccine development
  • The promise for a cure for HIV infection
  • Biomedical HIV prevention strategies
  • Structural determinants and how to address them
  • Implementation science, cost-effectiveness, and health economics

The event will be kicked off by the Rwanda Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba.

Participants are encouraged to tweet during the conference using the hashtag #INTEREST2018 and follow the conference account @INTERESTWKSP.

For more information, visit the INTEREST Conference website.