Volume 13 Number 1/2 January/February 2012

Welcome to the first issue of HTB for 2012, which includes an updated design thanks to comments from last years survey.

The last issue of 2011 highlighted serious concerns for global health, and the Treatment Access news in this issue continues this theme, with an indication that funding uncertainties will continue throughout the year.

This includes further changes at the Global Fund and responses to the suspension of Round 11 grantsan outcome-that became likely when donor pledges last year failed to match even the minimum working budget.

Fortunately these sobering events are balanced by more positive news.

The FDA recently approved new indications and formulations of three important antiretrovirals. Tenofovir is now available as an oral powder and lower dose pills for an indication in children of two years and older. Raltegravir is available in a 100 mg scored chewable tablet and a 25 mg chewable tablet for children older than 2 and weighing greater than 20 kg. Finally, an oral suspension of darunavir was approved with two bands of dosing recommendations (age 3 to 6 years; and, older than 6 years) that, as with adult dosing include separate recommendation for naïve and experienced patients.

Our conference coverage in this issue comes from a meeting on HIV and women’s health, and from a biannual workshop on HIV persistence and cure research.

The report from Richard Jefferys both summarises the latest state-of-the-art in this field and comments on the complexity of interpreting these early data. The excitement is that the slow momentum from numerous research groups carries our ultimate hope to for a future that may offer alternatives to our current life-long reliance on ARVs.

Finally, and closer to home, BHIVA have published both new monitoring guidelines and the draft for the 2012 UK treatment guidelines. As this is the first update since 2008, with only a few weeks to comment it is important that the writing committee receive feedback promptly if this to be considered for the final document.

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