ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases committed to community-based research

25 July 2022
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For science built around community needs
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This year we will continue to provide our support to the International AIDS Society (IAS) for the AIDS 2022 international conference, which will take place between July 29 and August 2 in Montreal. As part of this event, we will hold a symposium on July 29 regarding community-based research, which is the central theme of this press kit.

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This year we will continue to provide our support to the International AIDS Society (IAS) for the AIDS 2022 international conference, which will take place between July 29 and August 2 in Montreal. As part of this event, we will hold a symposium on July 29 regarding community-based research, which is the central theme of this press kit.

At ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases, community-based research forms part of a jointly led scientific approach in which community stakeholders are involved at every step, from the design of the project to the communication of the results.

Choosing community-based research is not just about fostering dialogue and collaboration between researchers, patients, and associations, it is also about thinking, co-constructing, and implementing projects to address the problems and needs of communities and society. Without the involvement of civil society and of affected people, research would be incomplete.

Joining this co-construction dynamic also enables us to take into account, recognize, and legitimize people living with HIV and affected community’s experience as an information source crucial to the advancement of scientific knowledge. They are central to the research mechanisms; they are stakeholders in guiding the medical, social, and political decisions that concern them.

Choosing community-based research is also about going beyond the evaluation of medicinal products and devices: it is about reflecting on how they will be put to use in real life. Something that would be impossible without the expertise and field knowledge of the community stakeholders, and particularly the associations.The development of community-based research forms an integral part of ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases’ strong commitment to its collaboration with civil society and associations.

In the fight against HIV and viral hepatitis, the associations, along with TRT-5 CHV, have proved themselves essential players. This collaboration is central to how ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases operates.

Over time, associations, NGOs and community representatives have joined the agency’s scientific committees and governance bodies to contribute to strategic and programmatic decisions.

This is a characteristic of the functioning of the ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases model. It is an institution that involves community players right from the design stage of the projects so that they best align with target populations and are deployed quickly and efficiently.

For example, ANRS-IPERGAY, a study demonstrating the efficacy of on-demand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the prevention of HIV, was developed with a group of partner associations involved in the LGBT sphere and the fight against AIDS. Placed under the joint responsibility of academia and the association AIDES, the project has marked an important milestone in community-based research into HIV, and its findings have considerably influenced national and international recommendations concerning PrEP.

Other examples of community-based research are presented in this kit.

Of course, no collaboration is perfect: there is always room for improvement.

While this cooperation has proven itself in the fight against HIV and viral hepatitis in France and in the agency’s partner countries, we are commited to continue forging closer links with NGOs and communities, including in the field of emerging infectious diseases. In order to perpetuate this model, which is a strength, we are working to expand our network, particularly at international level. This is a priority for ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases over the coming years.

Establishing new cooperations with associations demonstrates our desire to continue to structure our actions around the needs of communities and take each voice into account.

Véronique Doré, head of the ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases Department of Public Health and Human and Social Sciences

Yazdan Yazdanpanah, director of ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases

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Press contact :

ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases : information@anrs.fr