March/April 2014: Volume 15 Number 3/4

CROI 2014This issue of HTB includes first reports from the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) that was held in Boston from 3-6 March.

As usual, there is so much to report from this key meeting with many studies having a strong connection to UK research.

We lead with the interim analysis from the PARTNER study, starting to properly quantify the residual risk of transmission on ART plus the potential for future PrEP to come from slow-release injections, perhaps every three months.

ARV reports include three phase-2 studies on pipeline compounds from different classes: doravirine, GSK-744 and BMS-068. Results from three large ARV strategy trials also provide datasets on choice of initial and maintenance therapy: PIVOT, NEAT001 and ACTG 5257, plus a report on whether the target dose for efavirenz could be set lower.

Studies on PMTCT report on the high rate of maternal death during pregnancy in South Africa and a caution about low bone mineral density in infants exposed to tenofovir that are not infected.

Paediatric news covers an exciting pipeline of new formulations and the safety of switching to efavirenz for babies initially treated with lopinavir/r. Also from South Africa, a tempering of expectations from clinical practice from access to Xpert TB testing.

Cure research included the headline news about a second baby who may be cured and a detailed review on the current evidence supporting the gene therapy to modify CD4 cells.

We also include six basic science reviews including new results on the prognostic value of IL-6 and D-dimer, HIV persistence and cure research, management of immunologic non-responders and the value of the CD4:CD8 ratio – thanks to reports from Gareth Hardy and articles from Richard Jefferys best-on-the-net blog.

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