HTB December 2023/January 2024

Welcome to the last edition of HTB for 2023: a double issue with a diverse range of reports, but also the last edition in this format. After 24 years it is time for a change.

The i-Base appeal this year is a chance to help an LGBTQI+ community in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, many of whom fled Uganda due to increased persecution after the Anti-Homosexual Act.

  • We then lead with the latest HIV statistics in the UK that show a sustained drop in new infections, although with differences based on demographics, and a concern that late diagnoses still make up an overall large percentage of new cases.
  • We continue with reports from the recent 14th International Ageing Workshop with a focus on sarcopenia and news from the 19th EACS includes a major revision in European Guidelines.
  • Global news includes the annual price of TLD (tenofovir/lamivudine/dolutegravir) dropping to US $45 in eligible low-income countries. This astonishing achievement shows the importance of having ambitious targets for universal health care. It shows that combining scientific advances with an activist determination from multiple stakeholders can achieve results that were never imagined when the early breakthrough of ART – then HAART – was reported more than 25 years ago.
  • We report a potential for a nanoformulation of this combination as a once-monthly injection.
  • But also include concerns about the sustainability of international funding in a report from CHAI and that the mortality risk for children under five remains much higher than for older children living with HIV.
  • Other articles in this issue include reports on strategy studies for current ART and cautions about what to avoid, all-be-it with challenging data.
  • BHIVA has published the first national guidelines on earlier use of statins based on the results of the REPRIEVE study. Notably, the latest US HIV guidelines still refer to REPRIEVE results as not being expected for several years.
  • A drug interaction between NRTIs and bNAbs…
  • Although mpox cases remained thankfully low throughout 2023, even with limited data on durability of vaccine responses, we include a brief review of recent papers, with the highest risks linked to advanced HIV infection.
  • Finally, we review a new book by five leading African advocates, women who are all proudly living with HIV, who document the African response to HIV in the UK in a compilation of more than 40 personal stories.

This will also be the last issue of HTB in this current format.

Since April 2000, HTB has compiled critical reviews of research that affects the clinical care of people living with HIV. We are proud to be one of the longest running HIV community publications, certainly with a focus on treatment. But change can also be good and we have done this before.

The forerunner of HTB was a fortnightly bulletin sent to doctors by fax and appropriately named DrFax. Multiple news sources now send out bite-size summaries of new data often before the research has even been presented. Both urgent and non-urgent news is now available instantly.

So it is also time for change – and change in a new year can be a good thing.

Thank you to all our readers and supporters and to the team at i-Base.

Best wishes for the seasonal holidays and the New Year ahead.

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