IDWeek 2015 Features HIV and Hepatitis C Prevention, Treatment, and Cure Research


Immediate antiretroviral therapy is the big HIV news of the year and interferon-free therapy has transformed the treatment of hepatitis C despite its high cost, experts said during an overview of "What's Hot" in the field, presented at the IDWeek 2015 conference taking place this week in San Diego. Participants also heard a keynote talk by Ian Crozier, a doctor who survived Ebola virus disease.

IDWeek, which made its debut in 2012, is the combined annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS).

John Guatelli from the University of California at San Diego opened the "What's Hot in ID and HIV" session with a look at HIV basic science including progress in HIV cure research, followed by HIVMA Chair Adaora Adimora from theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reviewing HIV clinical science and veteran HIV researcher John Bartlett from Johns Hopkins addressing infectious disease clinical science.

The biggest news in HIV is results from the START trial showing the benefits of starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) immediately, Adaora said. In the pipeline, the long-acting integrase inhibitor cabotegravir is being studied for both HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). On the subject of PrEP, she noted that data from Kaiser Permanente San Francisco provide further evidence of the effectiveness of daily Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine), while "on demand" PrEP looked promising in the French Ipergay trial.

Adaora noted that HIV/HCV coinfected people respond well to the new direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C, but cost has severely limited access to treatment. With regard to other comorbidities, she emphasized that smoking cessation must become part of primary care for people with HIV.

During the remainder of the conference researchers will present data on Gilead Sciences' tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), a new pro-drug that can be given at lower doses than the current formulation with less detrimental effects on the kidneys and bones, and Bristol Myers-Squibb's experimental HIV attachment inhibitor BMS-663068.

Other presentations of interest include an oral abstract session on HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention, a symposium on how to accelerate delivery of PrEP, and a presentation on sexually transmitted infections among gay men. Lynne Mofenson will give a lecture on pediatric HIV infection, while a symposium will look at management of HIV in special populations including adolescents and seniors. There will also be oral abstracts on HIV-related complications and coinfections, a symposium on the role of inflammation, an update on organ transplants for HIV-positive people, a session on HIV reservoirs and eradication, and more information on this year's HIV and HCV outbreak among drug injectors in Indiana. Hepatitis presentations include an update on finding and treating people with hepatitis B and a symposium on managing hepatitis C -- dubbed one of the "big beasts of infectious diseases."

Beyond HIV and hepatitis, other notable topics include Ebola virus, human and avian influenza, the ongoing Legionella outbreak in New York City, Guinea worm eradication, and antibiotic stewardship, or preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics in the face of growing drug resistance.

The IDWeek 2015 program and abstracts are available online. Follow breaking news on Twitter using the hashtag #IDWeek2015. will offer coverage of selected presentations on our website and news via Twitter @HIVandHepatitis.



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