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Barcelona Conference: New Online Report

By John S. James

August 9, 2002

On August 9 an excellent in-depth summary of what HIV medical professionals and well-informed patients most need to know from the XIV International AIDS Conference (July 7-12 in Barcelona, Spain) was published on the Medscape Web site, It consists of four articles, and a test that physicians, pharmacists, and RNs can take for continuing medical education (CME) credit (but anyone can read the articles or take the test for their own information). Note: The first time you use this site you will probably need to register, but registration is free.

The articles are:

Many patients will find one of the first two articles most important, because they discuss some of the newer options in antiretroviral treatment. The lipodystrophy article is the most complex, because our basic understanding of HIV-related lipodystrophy may be changing. In addition to these four articles, there is some optional material that is not required for CME credit.

This CME course is available at:, and will remain online for one year.


The first reports from Barcelona were next-day coverage of individual sessions, which were published by several different organizations. Now, a month after the conference, we are getting reports that summarize information from many conference sessions and from other sources as well, outlining how our understanding has changed due to the findings presented at the meeting.

We missed the Barcelona conference unexpectedly (see AIDS Treatment News #381) -- and especially missed the many informal conversations in hallways and other informal meetings that help to put the whole conference in perspective. Fortunately these conversations continue by email -- although this medium would be more useful if people would learn to communicate better when sending email to large groups (for example, by making each message coherent to others who may not be as involved as the sender in the background and context of that message).

The official conference site,, leaves much to be desired -- although fortunately it does allow searching for any word in the abstracts, important for locating specialized information.

So far, the Medscape CME is the best summary we have seen of the clinical importance of this conference. It is likely that several comparable reports will be published over the coming months.

ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2002 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.

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