HTB: issue 9 online (21 May 2018): DTG alert and BHIVA/BASHH reports

This issue of HTB leads with worrying reports of a potential signal of neural tube defects in four women taking dolutegravir at the time of conception. Importantly, there is no signal from dolutegravir use during pregnany.

This news only became available as this HTB issue was being finalised. Further news is expected over the next week and we will add this online, with further comment.

Even if the early reports are not confirmed, this highlights a continued problem with the process for access to new ARVs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Two further reports in this issue also emphasise the significant gaps in the data from phase 3 studies that limit early use by the global populations most in need of better drugs.

Perhaps the unfortunate findings with dolutegravir will serve as a warning for better surveillance, inclusion of pregnant women in trials etc.

Generally more positive news is included in our further reports from the 4th Joint BHIVA/BASHH Conference held in Edinburgh.

Definitely more positive is the report that the government has backed down on the policy of NHS medical health records being routinely made available to UK immigration services.