18th CROI – what to watch from Boston

The 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) is being held from 27 February – 3rd March 2011.

This is the most important annual scientific HIV meeting.

Online presentations

Within a day or two, the conference puts all oral presentations online as webcasts so you follow this research if you are not able to attend. The site doesn’t even involve one of those annoying ‘free registration’ procedures – just hit the link and explore.


The programme (but not the abstracts yet) are now online.

18th CROI: highlights to watch

This years highlights will include ARVs as prevention. There are a lot of interesting studies on PrEP (using HIV drug to protect against infection), using a wide range of different oral drugs, gels and other delivery ways. See the HIV Prevention session on Monday 10-12.15 and Advances in PrEP held on Tuesday 10 am -12.15, a plenary lecture on Wednesday from 8.30-9.00 am and the Factors in HIV Transmission session on Wednesday from 4.00 to 6.00. pm.

There are exciting studies on new HIV drugs and innovative treatments, including immune-based approaches. See oral presentations in the HIV: Innovative Approaches from 10 am-12.00 on Monday and  on new HIV and HCV drugs from 10 am to 12.00 on Wednesday.

Hepatitis coinfection has oral presentations in the HCV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Resistance on Tuesday from 4.00 to 6.00 pm, on HIV and HCV drugs on Wednesday 10 am to 12.00 and a plenary lecture on Wednesday from 9.00 – 9.30 am.

Other highlights include the issue of immune inflammation, HIV and the brain (neurological disease and cognitive function) and other complications and access to treatment globally (including side effects, resistance, second-line treatment and new tests).

All these oral session will hopefully be webcast the day after the presentation date.

There are another 900-odd studies presented as posters – lots to review, sort and report…

The conference includes a training workshop on Sunday with eight 30 minute expert overview lectures on key topics. These are a great way to come up to date with current knowledge, for example, on prevention research, hepatitis, complications, treatment access etc.

At the end of the Sunday workshop, there is the community-initiated Martin Delaney Lecture (named in memory of the leading US activist who died in 2009). This years lecture is by Jonathan Berger who will talk about community involvement in research in South Africa.