The International AIDS Conference starts up in less than a week in Vienna, Austria. ScienceSpeaks is gathering thoughts from leaders in the field HIV/AIDS treatment, research and advocacy in the question and answer series “Looking toward Vienna.”
Daniel R. Kuritzkes, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also the Head Director of the AIDS Research section of Retroviral Therapeutics at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Kuritzkes also serves as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Harvard Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.
What are your expectations for the conference?
I hope that the conference will be another opportunity for networking and for inter-disciplinary discussion, particularly for people that have been developing therapeutics and those charged with rolling out ART in developing countries where there is high demand for these medicines.
I’m looking forward to dialogue about the intersection of therapeutics and prevention. The results of the first PrEP trials will be fostering much discussion, with the presentation of the CAPRISA trial results.
Any sessions you are particularly looking forward to?
President Clinton is going to be speaking again on Monday and that’s always interesting and exciting. Also, the sessions on therapeutics and drug resistance are a particular interest of mine. The discussions on the intersection of therapeutics and prevention, and discussions of the ongoing roll-out of HIV treatment in developing countries, are what this meeting especially helps to foster.
I do expect to hear news about novel antiretroviral regimens, HIV drug resistance, the role of immune activation in disease pathogenesis, HIV prevention, and of course HIV and TB.
The pivotal trial for rilpivirine (TMC278) will also be presented. This drug potentially provides an alternative to efavirenz (EFV), lacking the CNS toxicity and the teratogenicity of EFV. In addition, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group will be presenting data on bone effects of NNRTI- and PI-based regimens. Lastly, before the actual conference gets underway there is an IAS-sponsored workshop dealing with viral persistence and eradication (Friday-Saturday) that I will be attending.
Are you aware of any new research in Vienna being released on HIV drugs?