Summary of track C: epidemiology and public health.
Coutinho RA., Prins M., Spijkerman IJ., Geskus RB., Keet RP., Fennema HS., Strathdee SA.
AIM: To review Track C on epidemiology and public health. DESCRIPTIVE EPIDEMIOLOGY: Recent trends in the descriptive epidemiology are reported, for example, the rapid spread of HIV in certain Asian countries and the more precise insights in the spread thanks to subtyping of HIV-1 (and HIV-2). TRANSMISSION: There is now ample evidence that sexually transmitted diseases enhance the rate of transmission. Viral load in the plasma of the mother is highly predictive for perinatal transmission. PROGRESSION: Natural history studies have shown that true non-progressors are probably rare. Preliminary evidence indicates that the progression rate to AIDS and death does not differ by HIV-1 subtype. Some genetic factors are associated with the rate of disease progression and a few with susceptibility to HIV infection. INTERVENTIONS AND PREVENTION: Needle-exchange programmes as an intervention measure for injecting drug users were hotly debated and so were HIV (home) testing and counselling. Successes in prevention were reported from Thailand and Uganda, and also from small scale programmes.