The Community Advisory Board

The HIVACAT Community Advisory Board (CAC, for its acronym in Catalan) is an external body aimed at facilitating the communication and the dialogue between the scientific community and HIV-affected groups, communities of people practicing high-risk sexual activities and professionals from different fields.

The CAC was created as a request from the HIVACAT Program for the development of an HIV vaccine. HIVACAT is codirected by the Institute for AIDS Research IrsiCaixa and the AIDS and Infectious Diseases Service at the IDIBAPS/Barcelona’s Hospital Clìnic, in coordination with Esteve and the support of “la Caixa” Foundation, and the departments of Health and Economy and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Mission and functions

The mission of the CAC is to provide HIVACAT and its researchers a wide and complementary view of the impact, the consequences and the viability of the studies they carry out.

The CAC meetings are hold four times a year and its main functions are to offer non-binding advice to HIVACAT researchers, to review the HIVACAT research projects and to monitor the impact that the studies may have in the different affected groups and fields. CAC is also aimed at evaluating information and educational materials and facilitating the community access to the latest research results through the organizations of the CAC members.

Who is part of the CAC

The CAC is formed by 14 volunteer members, who represent the plurality and the different aspects around HIV. These members belong to public institutions (both local and regional), NGOs, people participating in clinical studies, people living with HIV, men who have sex with men and sex workers.

At present, the CAC is formed by members of the Agència de Salut Pública, the Federación de Entidades Latinoamericanas de Catalunya, the NGO Àmbit Prevenció, the Projecte dels Noms-Hispanosida, the NGO Afirma't, the NGO Planeta Salud, Gais Positius, the Grup de Treball sobre Tractaments del VIH (GTT), the Unit of Infectious Diseases and AIDS of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute.

Since October 2010, Mercè Meroño, coordinator of Àmbit Dona from the NGO Àmbit Prevenció, is the president of the CAC. This position, elected by majority between the CAC members in its periodic meetings, is renewed every 18 months and the terms of office are extendable.