Volume 4 Number 2 March 2003

As this issue of HTB went to press the 10th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) was just coming to a close. As expected, this meeting included new studies on a wide range of scientific and medical aspects of HIV research.

Full reports on new agents, antiretroviral strategy, gender and paediatric studies, generics and treatment in resource poor countries, metabolic side effects and lipodystrophy research will be covered in full in the next issue.

Even at this highly medical conference, treatment access issues are now integrated in the programme with sessions focused on both the medical and political challenges in resource poor countries. The opening ceremony included a performance by an HIV-positive choir from South Africa called Sinikithema (We Give Hope). One of the singers also spoke movingly about her own recovery from AIDS after accessing a trial of combination therapy, and also about the importance and practicality of treatment for the majority of the current 40-odd million people to whom it is currently denied. Former President Clinton also spoke about the global response. These and other presentations from the conference can be viewed over the internet as a webcast.

HTB continues to focus on treatment access, and in this issue Graham McKerrow discusses the impact of the political and financial influence of the US. It is encouraging to be able to report further pharmaceutical initiatives.

Important treatment news includes recently published studies small showing the possible importance of 4-drug therapy in some patients and that the complexity of d4T and AZT cross resistance is still underestimated – together with more interesting studies on lipodystrophy, metabolic and bone mineral changes.

‘On the web’ articles include links to some of the most interesting articles published by other medical sites and community journals over the last month, together with important reference items such as past conference abstracts, newly published guidelines and other related articles and on-line resources.

On a final note, we distributed an HTB survey with the last issue, and your feedback is both essential and appreciated. Thank you to everyone who has so far replied. Please, if you still have the survey around, and can find five minutes to post it back in the pre-paid envelope… we’d be very grateful. An electronic format of the survey is still available, of course, on the website…

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.