Save the date! NCHIV 2015 date announced

12 January 2015

Following a successful 8th Netherlands Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Epidemiology, Prevention and Treatment (NCHIV) in November 2014, the NCHIV organising committee is pleased to announce that the 9th edition of NCHIV will take place on Wednesday 18th November 2015. The conference will once again be held in the historic buildings of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam  and will offer physicians, researchers and others working in the field of HIV the opportunity to present their work and discuss the latest findings on HIV in the Netherlands and further afield.

Further information will be posted on the NCHIV website in due course. To sign up for the NCHIV alerts, please click here.

A brief look back at NCHIV 2014
Just under 300 participants attended NCHIV 2014. With 18 engaging talks by national and international HIV and hepatitis researchers and another 45 poster presentations, NCHIV 2014 was once again a highly stimulating and informative day.

The four international plenary speakers at NCHIV 2014 presented the latest thoughts and findings on topics ranging from hepatitis to the latest developments in HIV treatment strategies. In addition, there were 14 oral presentations on HIV pathogenesis, epidemiology, prevention and treatment, a handful of which are highlighted below.

During the epidemiology session, Sophie Cohen presented her findings on the effect of HIV on cognitive function in children. Her research revealed that HIV-infected children have a poorer overall cognitive function than healthy, HIV-unaffected children, with a relatively low average IQ of 76. Furthermore, MRI brain scans revealed abnormalities in white and grey matter.

Another  epidemiology presentation by Colette Smit emphasised the importance of focusing attention on people co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV, since HCV appears to behave differently in people infected with HIV compared to those without HIV and because the risk of death appears higher in people with HCV/HIV co-infection. Moreover, although 60% of these co-infected people have already undergone HCV treatment, this treatment has only been effective in 24% of the cases. According to Dr Smit, it is important to make direct-acting antiviral drugs available so as to prevent complications and further dissemination of HCV. 

Finally, during the pathogenesis session, Nienke van Teijlingen revealed that women with abnormal vaginal bacterial flora may be at increased risk of HIV infection. Using Langerhans cells, she found that, in the presence of abnormal bacterial flora, these ‘gatekeeper’ cells showed far higher activity in response to HIV and that they were more likely to become infected than Langerhans cells from women with normal vaginal bacterial flora.