HTB: no. 4 – plus HIV and COVID-19 (1 April 2021)

This issue of HTB includes a second set of reports from CROI 2021, on new treatment for HIV and for COVID-19.

  • Review of research into experimental capsid inhibitor lenacapavir.
  • New compounds to treat and prevent COVID-19.
  • Studies on HIV and pregnancy, including issues on weight gain during pregnancy.

The COVID-19 supplement includes two new annoucnements from BHIVA.

  1. COVID-19 vaccine guidelines are now online for comment.
  2. An update on accessing vaccinations from UK HIV clinics.

Other HIV news includes the collaboration between Gilead and Merck/MSD that should enable quicker development of long-acting ART than has the potential for only needing six-monthly dosing.

We also link to the UK issues of cancelled funding for reasearch supporting global health.

Open access CROI – and the importance of supporting virtual meetings

We report additional good news that from 15 April 2021 the CROI 2021 wesite will become open access. This is an essential change as a previous proposal included having a pay wall to access content, for at least the first six months. This was to cover financial uncertainty of holding a virtual meeting.

We thank the organisers for this important change.

Continued delegate registration is an important issue for virtual medical conferences in general. These events rely on registration fees, which for some meetings are now lower compared to in-person events.

Virtual meetings are also less expensive for us to attend (with no travel and accommodation costs), so supporting the events with registration is a community response that involves us all. Also in recognising that advances in HIV care have for many years been driven more by conference news than peer-review publications, or even guidelines.

Virtual meetings are not a way to by-pass registration to get free data. They are an evolving development from the COVID crisis and they need to be supported to ensure continued access to the latest developments in a trusted setting.

We strongly encourage readers to actively support these meetings, including for the upcoming BHIVA spring conference being held as a virtual meeting form 19 to 21 April 2021.

The recent virtual Best of CROI 2021 meeting organised by BHIVA focussed on the most important presentations related to clinical care. These will also be posted as open-access talk to the BHIVA website next week.