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Coverage of the 2014 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections

HIVandHepatitis.com coverage of the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic infections (CROI 2014), March 3-6, 2014, in Boston.

Conference highlights include new treatments for hepatitis C, HIV experimental therapies and treatment strategies, HIV cure research, HIV-related conditions, treatment as prevention and PrEP, and HIV/HCV coinfection.

Full HIVandHepatitis.com coverage by topic

Selected presentations and slide webcasts 

3/9/14

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CROI 2014: Boston Patients Experience HIV Rebound after Stem Cell Transplants

HIV has re-emerged in 2 Boston men who underwent experimental antiretroviral therapy (ART) interruption after receiving bone marrow stem cell transplants for cancer treatment, Timothy Henrich reported at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) this week in Boston. These cases suggest that a functional cure for HIV will be difficult to achieve if even a small amount of residual virus remains in the body.

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CROI 2014: HIV Cure News from the Retrovirus Conference

The 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) this week in Boston featured updates related to various aspects of the search for a cure for HIV.

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CROI 2014: HIV Rebounds in Boston Bone Marrow Transplant Patients [VIDEO]

Detectable HIV has returned in 2 Boston stem cell transplant recipients who for a time appeared to be controlling the virus during antiretroviral treatment interruption, Timothy Henrich from Brigham and Women's Hospital reported at the reported at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) this week in Boston.

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CROI 2014: Raltegravir Plus Boosted Darunavir Is Safe and Effective for First-line ART

A NRTI-sparing initial regimen of raltegravir (Isentress) plus boosted darunavir (Prezista) worked as well as traditional antiretroviral therapy containing tenofovir/emtricitabine (the drugs in Truvada), according to findings from the NEAT 001 study reported at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) this week in Boston.

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CROI 2014: Protected T-cells Persist and Proliferate in HIV Gene Therapy Study

Genetically modified CD4 T-cells lacking CCR5 co-receptors reach high levels in the body and are resistant to HIV infection, potentially enabling people to maintain a low viral load while off antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to the latest reports from studies evaluating Sangamo Biosciences' SB-728-T zinc finger gene therapy technology.

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CROI 2014: Mississippi Child Remains Free of HIV [VIDEO]

The "Mississippi Baby" -- now a toddler -- still has undetectable HIV viral load 2 years after interrupting antiretroviral therapy (ART) started within hours after birth, Deborah Persaud reported at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) this week in Boston. Another baby in Los Angeles also appears potentially free of HIV, but this child is still on treatment. 

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[Deborah Persaud,CROI press conference, March 4, 2014]

Persaud, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, made asplash at last year's CROI when she reported on an infant born to an HIV positive mother who had not taken prophylactic antiretrovirals to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Given the high-risk situation, the baby was started on combination ART within 30 hours after birth. After 18 months of treatment, the girl's guardians removed her from care and she stopped ART. But when she returned to care several months later, she still had undetectable viral load.

This year Persaud reported that the girl still has undetectable plasma viral load, and extensive testing has not found HIV RNA in peripheral blood cells or resrevoirs. Traces of HIV DNA have been detected, but not replication-competent virus. Persaud and colleagues conclude that the child remains in remission from HIV while off ART, suggesting that very early therapy for infants may lead to a "functional cure."

Persaud also described a second baby in Los Angeles County who also started treatment very early and appears not to have detectable HIV using the most sensitive tests. This child, however, was never taken off antiretroviral treatment, so does not yet represent another potential cure.

3/5/14

Reference

D Persaud, A Deveikis, H Gay, et al. Very Early Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in Perinatal HIV. 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014). Boston, March 3-6. Abstract 75LB.