Non technical HTB: 11 stories from July/August

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

The notes below highlight 11 news stories in the July/August issue of HTB.

They explain why these stories are important for health workers (and for us) to know about.


The editorial introduces the articles in the issue, with a focus on IAS reports, especially about side effects. Also new UK guidelines for HPV and other vaccines – and a community survey on New-Fill.


We include ten reports from the recent IAS 2023 conference.

This was a major conference and although it was held in Australia, i-Base reported by attending the virtual meeting online. So this is a caution to the reports, although not having to travel probably left more time to report in more detail.

The programme included many studies about managing complications of HIV, including potential side effects.

1. WHO endorse U=U

For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) supports the U=U statement. This is based on a new review in the Lancet. Viral load now has a new category of suppression, when not quite undetectable.

2. Caution on drug resistance

We linked this good news to three posters at IAS 2023 that explain why ‘suppression’ needs more careful viral load monitoring, because it is not a stable phase.

3. Monitoring and treating high blood pressure

Several studies reported on the importance of monitoring and treating high blood pressure (hypertension)

4. Benefits from a statin, even at low risk

A whole session covers the benefits from using a statin – with three talks and a Q&A on the REPRIEVE study.

5. A new cure case and lots of cure-related research

Richard Jefferys reports on cure-related research, including the new case of the Geneva patient, as well as a guide to other studies at the meeting.

6. Track B reviews and the early press conference

IAS 2023 included more than 1600 studies, so we included two short review articles to cover some of them. One reviews 20 clinical studies summarised in a talk at the end of the conference. The other reports on eight studies in a press conference before the actual conference – which adds to the problem of reporting breaking news from IAS conferences.

7. Hidden posters…

i-Base covers posters too that are often missed by others – including on biopsy results for anal cancer and a type of hidden hepatitis B.

As a taster for the next issue of HTB, see this report from a poster on weight loss drugs and comments on use for lipodystrophy.

8. BHIVA and pregnancy

We also include two final reports from BHIVA 2023 related to HIV and pregnancy.

9. New guidelines: mental health, HPV vaccines, shingles vaccine

Three new guidelines relate to mental health, UK access to the HPV vaccines and changes to the shingles vaccine, also in the UK.

10. We need your help – New-fill access in the UK

The next report needs your help – two surveys about UK access to New-Fill. Please include your experience with this important option to correct one of the difficult side effects of early HIV drugs.

This community survey might help this service continue.

11. PrEP news

On the one hand we report the next steps for long-acting injectable PrEP to be approved across the EU – really important.

On the other, a very rare case of how a breakthrough infection can still occur.

Happy reading if you are lucky to have time in the August summer.

Link to full contents

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