The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections ended on March 6
And the news coming out of it was astounding. 33 years after the first cases were described
, researchers are genuinely excited about where we are and where we are going.
Last year's news noted that analysis from the SMART and ESPRIT studies
found that among virologically suppressed, ART-treated subjects with CD4 cells greater than 500, there was no evidence of a higher mortality rate compared to the general population. Not to be outdone, this year's reports were equally exciting.
An integrase inhibitor is showing promise
as a potential pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug that could be injected once every three months to prevent HIV infection. It is not yet in human clinical trials, though that could happen within two years.
Treatment as Prevention or TasP, as a means of preventing HIV transmissions made a huge leap forward with a study showing that among serodiscordant heterosexual couples transmission was virtually eliminated when the partner with HIV was virologically suppressed.
has become more promising every day but in terms of actual uses in the real world, we are a long, long way off.
Paul Sax, M.D., author of HIV and ID Observations Blog
for NEJM notes that while we can look at new antiretrovirals with fewer side effects, antiretroviral medications are now at a point that HIV therapy cannot be improved virologically because we are really at optimal virological suppression.
And outside of CROI, today's news shows that HIV related disease is no longer among the top ten causes of death in New York City.
Though African American and Latino men who have sex with men still are disproportionately represented
among people infected with HIV and those still dying of HIV-related causes.