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Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol covers the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
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CROI 2010 Wrap-Up: The Evolution of Antiretroviral Therapy

A Discussion With Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H.

March 8, 2010

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Wrapping It Up: The Changing Nature of CROI

Myles Helfand: We have just swept through a lot of different studies covering a broad range of issues that are, to varying extents, related to antiretroviral therapy. How did the year's premier HIV research meeting stack up, compared to previous meetings? From a clinician's standpoint, what are your main takeaway messages from this year's CROI?

Joel Gallant: That's a good question. For years, I've been going to conferences. And my expectation is that I'm going to come back and I'm going to have a bunch of information about randomized, controlled clinical trials comparing antiretroviral therapy that will advance the field and help us know better how to treat patients. That's really been my focus, and it's been how I evaluate a conference: How many randomized, controlled trials did I hear about? How many new drugs did I hear about?


I think over the last few years, I've had to change that emphasis and realize that a conference can be a good conference even though it doesn't have a whole bunch of randomized, controlled trials. The field has changed and there are other things to learn about. So in that light, I think this was a good meeting. I think that we heard a lot of interesting stuff about complications of both HIV and HIV therapy. I think we heard more supportive data for the idea that HIV is a disease that should be treated. I think we learned more about the role of antiretroviral therapy as probably the best preventive approach that we have -- which is yet another reason to be treating HIV. And we learned, for better or for worse, that we can't necessarily assume that the drug pipeline will just continue to pump out new drugs, so we have to use the ones that we have very carefully and wisely.

I think that the conference helped to support what's going on in the guidelines right now, which was gratifying. So I think it was a pretty good meeting.

Myles Helfand: Dr. Joel Gallant is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and he's one of the top clinician-researchers in the United States. Dr. Gallant, thank you very much for taking the time to walk us through the antiretroviral therapy highlights of CROI 2010.

Joel Gallant: My pleasure, Myles.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Read part one of this two-part interview; part one focuses on antiretrovirals in development.

Copyright © 2010 Body Health Resources Corporation. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by TheBodyPRO. It is a part of the publication The 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.
See Also
More on HIV Medications
More on HIV Treatment

Reader Comments:

Comment by: anonymous (tanzania) Sat., Jun. 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm UTC
this virus ruins lives, shatters dreams i hope sometime soon a cure will come out, imagine how it feels when you have never had unprotected sex and you test positive for hiv, feels like everything is against me, please find a cure soon i miss normal life soo much
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Comment by: Scared InTexas (Austin, TX) Thu., Mar. 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm UTC
I think the idea of everyone being tested is a GREAT IDEA, BUT!!! in the great lonestar state, the minute you're diagnosed as HIV +, you have to go to the county medical facility and get grilled for 2 hours. Asked to disclose personal information, and any and all sexual contacts.

SO WHY IN THE WORLD would I want to be treated like a criminal ? As long as you have State laws that make you a criminal, you'll never get men to be tested.

This is a medical condition between you and your doctor and not you and the state.

An additional complication, is now that you know, they tell you that if you have unprotected sex with somenone, you could go to jail. In my case they gave me examples of lawsuits and a guy going to jail in another state.

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Comment by: Henry (NYC) Tue., Mar. 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm UTC
That was an excellent overview, thank you both!
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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.