CROI 2009

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16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
CROI 2009 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
Montréal, Canada
February 8-11, 2009

HIV/AIDS Complications
March 4, 2009

HIV and Women
At the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal, David Evans talks with Valerie Stone, MD, a researcher and physician at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital about disease progression in women, challenges with contraceptives and screening for cervical cancer.


February 26, 2009

HIV and the Brain: What to Watch Out For
At the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal, David Evans talks with Scott Letendre, MD, from the University of California in San Diego, about the latest research on HIV and neurocognitive functioning. Dr. Letendre reveals how commonplace cognitive disorders are in people with HIV, and what you and your doctor can do about them.


February 25, 2009

HIV and Cancer: Prevalence and Prevention
At the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal, David Evans talks with Nancy Crum-Cianflone, MD, a researcher and physician from the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, about the latest information on cancer and HIV disease, which cancers are more likely in people with HIV, and the best ways to prevent them.


February 23, 2009

Half of Deaths in People With HIV No Longer From AIDS
Half of the deaths in people with HIV now are from causes other than AIDS, according to a study presented at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal. Non-AIDS-related cancers and cardiovascular disease are a growing cause of death particularly in older people with HIV.


February 20, 2009

Testosterone Therapy: Good for Women Too
Long-term testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is well tolerated in HIV-positive women and results in significant improvements in body composition, bone mineral density (BMD) and quality of life, according to new data presented by Harvard researchers on Tuesday, February 10, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal.


Lymphoma: Death Rates Still High, but Cancer May Be Predicted
Despite the effectiveness of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, HIV-positive people diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) face a significantly higher risk of death compared with HIV-negative individuals diagnosed with the same malignancy. While these data, presented by a team of California researchers on Monday, February 9, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, are sobering, the results from a study conducted by National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Mayo Clinic investigators are highly encouraging and suggest that it may be possible to predict lymphoma two to five years before it develops.


February 19, 2009

Quarter of U.S. Positive Women Not Receiving Annual Pap Smears
Roughly one quarter of HIV-positive women in the United States may not be receiving recommended annual cervical Pap smears , according to a new analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Tuesday, February 10, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal. Based on these results, CDC presenters Alexandra Oster, MD, and her colleagues are recommending increased education for providers and women living with HIV, along with integration of HIV and gynecologic care


February 18, 2009

HDL and Small HDL Particles Predict Cardio Problems in HIV
Interrupting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy has a rapid unfavorable effect on “good” HDL cholesterol levels, significantly increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This was an additional finding from the SMART trial, reported by Daniel Duprez, MD, of the University of Minnesota and his colleagues at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week in Montreal. According to the researchers, HIV-positive people not on treatment experienced a high rate of serious coronary-related problems.


Scientists Still Seeking Clues to Abacavir Heart Attack Mystery
Seeking to unravel the mystery surrounding possible heart problems in people taking abacavir (found in Ziagen, Epzicom and Trizivir), researchers have found that HIV-positive men and women on the drug don’t have higher levels of blood vessel inflammation, as was previously suggested, but may have overly reactive blood clotting factors that potentially lead to heart attacks. The presentations were given Wednesday, February 11, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal.


February 17, 2009

Smoking Cessation: Hispanics, Nicotine Patch Users Do Best
An addiction to cigarette smoking is truly difficult for HIV-positive people to break, according to a study comparing two smoking cessation strategies reported Wednesday, February 11, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal. While no more than 10 percent of individuals participating in either strategy abstained from smoking for six months, study presenters Karen Tashima, MD, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and her colleagues found much higher success rates among Hispanics compared with other racial or ethnic groups


Nerve Damage Is a Common Problem in People With HIV
Distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSPN)—a type of nerve damage that can lead to tingling and pain in the feet and hands—affects more than half of all people with HIV, according to several studies presented Monday, February 9, at 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal.


February 11, 2009

PIs, Abacavir and Cardiovascular Disease: What’s the Risk?
Results from various studies at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal confirm earlier reports that lopinavir/ritonavir and abacavir are associated with an increased risk of heart attack independent of other factors associated with cardiovascular disease. 


D:A:D Study: Reduce Modifiable Risk Factors to Improve Survival
Despite the effectiveness of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, people living with HIV face a higher risk of death than their age-matched HIV-negative peers. However, many risk factors that contribute to an increased risk of death are modifiable—they can often be amended with behavioral changes and proper medical care.


HIV Itself Is a Major Heart Disease Risk Factor
HIV infection itself appears to increase the thickness of the carotid artery and is therefore a significant independent risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD)—ultimately increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke—according to a new study presented Wednesday, February 11, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal.


February 10, 2009

Age, Diabetes & a Bigger Waist Line Tied to Cognitive Problems in HIV
A cluster of factors becoming more common in people with HIV—older age, diabetes and a large belly—may also increase a person’s risk of developing problems with memory, thinking and learning new tasks, according to two studies presented Tuesday, February 10, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal.


February 9, 2009

Diabetes Drug Avandia Helps Reverse Lipoatrophy
Avandia (rosiglitazone), a member of the “glitazone” drug class approved for the treatment of diabetes, may help reverse fat loss in HIV-positive people with lipoatrophy, according to a new study reported by Grace McComsey, MD, of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and her colleagues on Monday, February 9, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal.



Experimental HIV Drugs
February 20, 2009

Antiretroviral Highlights from CROI
At the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal, David Evans talks with Tony Mills, MD, a private practice physician and researcher at the University of California in Los Angeles, about the latest in antiretroviral research. Dr. Mills gives his take on the surprising results of an Isentress (raltegravir) clinical trial, the latest news from Gilead about their four-in-one pill, and the promise of viral eradication.


February 10, 2009

IL-2 Fails in Two Large Studies
It’s finally official: Proleukin (interleukin-2, IL-2), a long-studied experimental immune-based therapy for HIV, simply doesn’t work. When compared with antiretroviral (ARV) therapy alone, Proleukin plus ARV treatment failed to protect people against developing an opportunistic infection or death, despite generating greater increases in CD4 counts.


February 9, 2009

GS 9350 and SPI-452: Emerging Alternatives to Norvir Boosting
Two pharmaceutical companies have made progress developing novel agents that can be used in place of Norvir (ritonavir) to boost other HIV drugs in the blood stream, according to two presentations Monday, February 9, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal. 



HIV Transmission & Prevention
February 27, 2009

Prevention Highlights, Part 1: PrEP
At the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal, Tim Horn talks with Sharon Hillier, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh, about the latest in prevention science. Part 1 focuses on progress toward an effective PrEP intervention.


Prevention Highlights, Part 2: Treatment as Prevention
At the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal, Tim Horn talks with Sharon Hillier, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh, about the latest in prevention science. Part 2 focuses on the notion of treating people with HIV as soon as they test positive as a way to prevent HIV transmission on a community-wide level.


February 13, 2009

Microbicides Make a Comeback
HIV microbicides—which incorporate HIV transmission-blocking molecules into gels and creams for the vagina and rectum—got a boost of confidence after two presentations Monday, February 9, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal. An analysis of one study showed first signs of efficacy in humans, and another showed that a gel could completely block viral infection in monkeys.


February 9, 2009

HIV Treatment Greatly Reduces, But Doesn’t Eliminate Transmission
HIV-positive people taking antiretroviral (ARV) treatment have a significantly lower risk of transmitting the virus to their HIV-negative partner, according to two studies involving heterosexual couples presented Monday, February 9, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal.




Starting & Switching Treatment
February 12, 2009

Isentress Shows Long-Term Benefits in Treatment-Experienced Patients
Two-year follow-up data from two Phase III clinical trials of Isentress (raltegravir) were reported by Roy Steigbigel, PhD, of SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine on Long Island, New York, on Monday, February 9, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Montreal. The studies, involving patients with multidrug-resistant HIV and advanced infection, indicate that Merck’s integrase inhibitor offers long-lasting antiretroviral activity for treatment-experienced patients piecing together an effective antiretroviral (ARV) regimen.


Antidepressants Improve Viral Load Response to Treatment Due to Better Adherence
Antidepressant medication treatment greatly improves the ability of HIV-positive people with depression to achieve and maintain undetectable viral loads, according to a study reported by Alexander Tsai, MD, of the Langlai Porter Psychiatric Institute in San Francisco on Tuesday, February 10, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). Tsai and his group attribute this benefit to improved adherence to prescribed antiretroviral (ARV) therapy


February 10, 2009

Start HIV Treatment Early—But When?
There are now multiple lines of evidence supporting the earlier initiation of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy than is currently recommended. But if guidelines experts are to commit a new recommendation to paper, they will require research consistently illustrating when treatment should be started based on CD4 cell counts. While two presentations reported Monday, February 9th, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) confirm that earlier treatment yields life-saving benefits, they did not agree on the best time to begin taking ARVs. 


February 9, 2009

Kaletra-to-Isentress Switch Helps Lipids, but With Viral Rebound Risk
Patients with undetectable viral loads—but struggling with elevated lipids—while on a Kaletra (lopinavir and ritonavir)-based regimen are likely to see marked improvements in their cholesterol and triglyceride levels upon swapping Kaletra for Isentress (raltegravir), but they may be less likely to keep their viral loads below 50 copies.


Sponsors
Funding for coverage of this conference is provided, in part, by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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