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Treatment News from Recent Conferences: Finding Web Reports

By John S. James

October 26, 2001

Much treatment information came out at several conferences in October and early November. It did not get major press attention because there was no big headline story or single coherent message. Unless you know someone who was there, the best way to learn about these conferences shortly after they happen is through Web reports by researchers, physicians, or other experts. While few will read all this material, patients and medical professionals can scan to find information about problems they are having, treatments they are using, or relevant leads.

You can scan the lists of major topics below to decide what you want to see, then go to the Web sites to read the selected summaries. Note that these reports are written mainly for medical professionals, and some are more difficult than others.

These conference Web reports provide quick, accessible treatment education updates in areas you choose. This article lists major topics reported (as of mid-November 2001, when we went to press).

Recent Conferences

And for reports on liver diseases,

Web Sites with Conference Coverage

The following four sites have extensive reporting on these conferences (though only The Body covered all five of them).

Note the more specific Web addresses for some of the conference coverage, further below. But if one of these addresses does not work (perhaps because the site has been reorganized), use the address here to get to the home page, and then look for the conference coverage on the site. Some sites take down their conference reports after one year.

While these Web sites are credible, nothing is perfect. These rapid Web reports, often online within days of a meeting, sometimes within a day, do not always leave time for thorough fact checking. And the pervasive "spin" throughout the entire U.S. medical field, especially pharmaceuticals, makes all treatment reporting difficult. The trials conducted and results published reflect complex, often secret negotiations between corporate, professional, regulatory, organizational, personal and other interests. There is no way to cover a field as complex as AIDS and even be aware of all of the important spin.

Approved HIV Drug Names

We use generic drug names in this article -- or the more familiar abbreviations AZT (generic name zidovudine), ddI (didanosine), d4T (stavudine), and 3TC (lamivudine). Generic names are usually but not always used on the sites. For those more familiar with the brand name, here is a table of the brand names and generic names of the anti-HIV drugs currently approved in the U.S. Since all antiretrovirals are patented in this country, there is only one brand name here for each generic (except for saquinavir, which has an earlier, weaker formulation named Invirase).

Epivirlamivudine (3TC)
Hividzalcitabine (ddC)
Retrovirzidovudine (AZT)
Videxdidanosine (ddI)
Vireadtenofovir DF
Zeritstavudine (d4T)

Major Topics Covered

Here are some of the most important topics on each site, as of November 14. New reports may still be added. If we have missed other sites that should be included, please let us know.

Also note that the same research is often presented at more than one conference. So the same Web site can have different writeups on the same research.

We wrote the title lines below to give a less technical view of the contents of each summary. You can usually spot the corresponding writeup by following the link provided to reach a table of contents for that conference Web report. Many of the summaries are short, a page or less; a few are considerably longer.

IDSA (39th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America), October 25-28, San Francisco

The Body (click "Conference Summaries")

HIV and

"Report on Salvage Therapy from the 39th Annual Meeting of the IDSA," by Daniel R. Kuritzkes, M.D. This essay looks at real-world experience in very heavily pretreated patients with: lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra); indinavir+ritonavir; delavirdine strategy to boost protease inhibitor levels; and amprenavir use after nelfinavir.

Medscape (select 39th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America)

These are the HIV-related titles now on the site:

Note: Bioterrorism, and other infectious diseases, have separate sections in this Web report from the IDSA conference.

8th European Conference on Clinical Aspects and Treatment of HIV-Infection

The Body (click "Conference Summaries")

HIV and

NATAP -- select "Conference Reports" (on left), then "2001" (if necessary), then select the conference by name

3rd International Workshop on Adverse Drug Reactions and Lipodystrophy in HIV

The Body (click "Conference Summaries")

HIV and

In an excellent but quite technical summary of the lipodystrophy workshop, ten papers by leading experts describe what happened in various areas:

By Andrew Carr, M.D.: Mitochondrial Toxicity and Lactic Acidemia; Liver Disease; Hypersensitivity; and Thyroid Disease.

By Graeme Moyle M.D., M.B.B.S.: Insulin Resistance; Adipocytes (fat cells); Clinical Data; Switch Studies; Cardiovascular Disease; and Clinical Risk.

NATAP -- select "Conference Reports" (on left), and then "2001"

Liver Disease Conferences Coverage

The following conferences are most relevant for coverage of hepatitis or other liver-related illness.

66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, October 19-24, Las Vegas

The Body (click "Conference Summaries")

AASLD (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases), November 9-13, Dallas

The Body

Check the site; coverage incomplete as we went to press.

HIV and

Check the site; coverage just began as we went to press.

NATAP -- select "Conference Reports" (on left), then "2001"

Check the site; coverage just began as we went to press.

ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2001 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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