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CROI, 3-8 February 2008 - summary of studies

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CROI, 3-8 February 2008 - summary of studies
Posted on: March 5 2008, 10:41 am

The 15th CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections) was held in Boston this February. This conference, always held in the US, is probably the most important scientific HIV meeting held each year.

HIV i-Base has issued a non-technical summary of key studies presented at the conference.

HIV i-Base - Non-technical summary of 25 studies and presentations from CROI


Benefits of continuous treatment and earlier treatment
Generally, many studies are showing an overall benefit of treatment, especially once viral load is undetectable (less than 50 copies/ml). These study results are behind recent guidelines recommending starting treatment a bit earlier.

Atazanavir/r vs lopinavir/r (Kaletra) as first treatment
A large (almost 900 patients), randomised, international study (CASTLE) compared atazanavir/r to Kaletra (lopinavir/r) and found both drugs had similar results in people using treatment for the first time.

Side effects: abacavir and risk of heart attack
The large prospective D:A:D cohort study (33,000 patients followed for an average of 7 years) reported current (or recent) use of abacavir was linked with an additional 90% increased risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attack).

Side effects: aging, bone disease
A plenary session on HIV and aging highlighted that bone mineral density is lower in HIV-positive people.

Very low rates of mother-to-child transmission in the UK
Only 3 cases of transmission in 1,341 out of 2,200 HIV-positive pregnancies in women on HAART whose viral load was <50 copies/mL.

Report also covers new medications, risk of sexual hepatitis C reinfection in gay men in the UK, other studies about HIV and hepatitis C coinfection, dug resistant TB and HIV, vaccine research and an interesting case report on an HIV-positive man who received a stem cell transplantation from a donor who was immune to HIV infection.

Aidsmap has extensive coverage of the conference.

Aidsmap - News from the 15th CROI Conference, Boston


  • Kivexa and Truvada have similar efficacy and safety
  • Region of origin and gender significant in long-term changes in CD4 cell count during effective HIV therapy
  • Recreational drug use a risk for asymptomatic heart disorders in HIV-positive patients
  • Risk of lymphomas depends on cumulative viral load and latest CD4 counts
  • Untreated HIV-positive individuals have a higher risk of death even at CD4 counts over 350
  • Delaying HAART while treating opportunistic infections increases the risk of disease progression and death
  • Darunavir found effective and tolerable in treatment-experienced children and adolescents at 24 weeks
Plus many reports on treatment in developing countries.

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