ICAAC: Then and Now
Before the relief brought by HAART, when the emergent therapeutic battles in AIDS focused on treating opportunistic infections, the annual ICAAC conference was the place one went to cull through hundreds of posters and abstracts looking for promising new antifungal or antiparasitic drugs and glimmers of hope. ICAAC is still the major conference for showing new research on how to use coming and currently available antimicrobial agents of all kinds with over 1500 data presentations on display.
This year, HIV-specific antiretroviral research comprises about 10 percent of ICAAC's content with two slide sessions scheduled to present 16 papers before a live audience and another 169 papers to be presented as posters. In addition to a number of symposiums on current care strategies, one of the keynote sessions opening the conference is dedicated to AIDS in Africa and another to the state of our knowledge about HIV's initial entry into cells.
The poster sessions in the HIV category are organized into six topical groups including hepatic and metabolic complications, prevention and epidemiology, adherence and pharmacokinetics, resistance, pathogenesis and diagnostics, and two sessions devoted to antiretroviral therapies. Each session presents about 25 posters.
A surprising note is that over half of the HIV category posters are from foreign research groups, with a particularly large number originating in Spain and Italy. Overall, pharmaceutical companies have sponsored about 20 percent of the HIV posters -- research primarily involving antiretroviral therapies, adherence and resistance.
Yet reports about opportunistic infections associated with HIV disease haven't disappeared from ICAAC. Presentations on leishmanaisis, salmonella, histoplasmosis, herpes simplex, and hepatitis viruses A through G, to name but a few, are abundant.
This article was provided by Gay Men's Health Crisis. It is a part of the publication GMHC Treatment Issues. Visit GMHC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.