The 26th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2019) has just concluded in Seattle, Washington, United States. UIPHP Scientific Director Kostyantyn Dumchev took part in an annual meeting that brings together top basic, translational, and clinical researchers from around the world.
CROI 2019 was held from March 4 to March 7, 2019, and was devoted to the latest studies, important developments, and best research methods in the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS and related infectious diseases.
International AIDS Society (IAS) has summarized some of the key research presented during the event in its review “A week in review: CROI 2019” (Read full review at IAS):
- Second HIV “cure” reported. Until now, researchers have not been able to duplicate the cure for HIV infection that the “Berlin Patient” experienced after receiving a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation on CCR5 leading to HIV resistance in 2007. At CROI 2019 they presented the case of the “London Patient”, a formerly HIV-positive man who received a bone marrow transplant from a similarly immune donor as treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and who has since remained without detectable HIV infection off antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 18 months.
- Proving the benefits of intensive testing and treatment on the example of several large-scale studies in Africa. A package of services, including house-to-house voluntary testing, rapid access to treatment and enhanced prevention for people who test HIV negative, led to a 30% drop in new infections.
- Researchers were excited about the HIV prevention and treatment potential of bNAbs. These very potent antibodies, which are developed naturally by a small number of people living with HIV and can be cloned by researchers, are being studied for their potential use in HIV vaccines, treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis.
- TB treatments improve, even for the hardest to treat cases, in particular among HIV-infected patients.
- New approaches to medical therapy presented by scientists reveal wide prospects for HIV prevention and treatment
The scientific director of the Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy, Kostyantyn Dumchev, and his colleagues presented at the Conference the results of several recent HIV-related studies implemented by the Institute in Ukraine, in particular the results of the HPTN074 project: