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PLOS Medicine Special Issue: Advances in HIV Prevention, Treatment and Cure

Update: the submission deadline for the Special Issue on HIV has been extended to June 16th.

The editors of PLOS Medicine are delighted to announce a forthcoming Special Issue focused on HIV research, along with guest editors Drs Linda-Gail Bekker, Steven Deeks and Sharon Lewin. Submissions are now being invited, with a deadline of June 9, 2017.

PLOS Medicine, the leading open access medical journal published by PLOS, welcomes submission of reports of high-quality research studies to be considered for publication in a special issue covering advances in the prevention, treatment and cure of HIV infection. This special issue, to be published at the end of 2017, will be guest edited by Dr Linda-Gail Bekker of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, University of Cape Town; Dr Steven Deeks of the University of California, San Francisco; and Dr Sharon Lewin of the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital. Alongside research papers, the special issue will include commissioned content contributed by leaders in the field.

HIV infection continues to pose a critical risk to health in many countries, with 2.1 million people (including 150,000 children) estimated by UNAIDS to have been newly infected in 2015. Due to intensive efforts to diagnose and treat people with HIV, 18.2 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy according to the most recent estimates. However, given an estimated total HIV-infected population of 36.7 million at the end of 2015, a substantial treatment gap leaves many millions of people at risk of AIDS-related diseases and, if unaware of their status, likely to infect others.

Ambitious global targets propose that, by 2020, 90% of people infected with HIV should know their status, with 90% of people diagnosed with HIV infection to be receiving antiretroviral treatment and 90% of people receiving treatment to have viral suppression. In addition to research seeking to meet and evaluate progress towards these targets, we encourage submission of studies aimed at the development of new and improved antiretroviral treatments, which will be important contributors to closing the treatment gap.

Although proven approaches to prevention of HIV infection are available, including condom use, pre-exposure prophylaxis and male circumcision, high-quality implementation research is needed to inform the design of effective interventions and programmes that are tailored to key populations or settings, and such studies will be included in the issue. Because there are large populations at risk of HIV infection in low- and middle-income countries, development of an effective vaccine against HIV is a key area of research: for the special issue, we will welcome reports of translational and clinical studies aiming to evaluate new and existing vaccination strategies.

In addition to prevention and management of HIV infection, submission of research studies aiming to understand long-term control of HIV, and seeking to be achieve cure of HIV infection, will be welcome for the special issue. Studies aimed at characterization and management of co-morbidities—a challenge growing in proportion to the size of the population of people with HIV on long-term antiretroviral treatment—will also be considered.

For this issue, the editors are inviting reports of high-quality research studies with the potential to inform clinical practice or thinking, focused on:

  • State of the global HIV epidemic—large-scale epidemiological studies addressing important topics, including progress towards UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 targets and the status of key populations
  • HIV prevention—clinical research aimed at development of vaccines, drugs and biomedical approaches
  • Clinical and epidemiological studies seeking to characterize and improve management of HIV infection and co-morbidities
  • Scientifically rigorous and practically relevant implementation research studies focused on HIV prevention and treatment, especially in low- and middle-income countries
  • Towards a cure for HIV infection—translational and clinical studies aiming to achieve control or elimination of HIV

Please submit your manuscript at: The deadline is June 9th, 2017.

Presubmission inquiries are not required, but do indicate your interest in the special issue in your cover letter. Questions about the special issue can be directed to


Image credit: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Flickr

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