tagline 2006 April
- SMART Stops Stopping
The Strategies for the Management of Antiretroviral Therapy (SMART) trial was designed to investigate whether antiretroviral therapy could be used on an as-needed basis rather than continuously. On January 10th of this year, the disappointing news emerged that SMART's Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) had recommended that the trial stop due to roughly twice the number of progression events in the intermittent therapy arm, including deaths and serious complications associated with drug toxicity.
- HCV at CROI: Growing Chasm Between Bench and Bedside
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV/HCV coinfection were prominently featured at this year's Retrovirus conference.
- Overlapping Epidemics: TB, HIV and Viral Hepatitis
Disturbing reports of overlapping TB, HIV, and viral hepatitis epidemics emerged at the 2005 International AIDS Society Conference.
- TB Diagnostics: A Crisis for People Living With HIV/AIDS Worldwide
The most frequently utilized TB diagnostics lack the sensitivity to consistently detect the bacteria in an HIV coinfected population. These tests are also incapable of identifying drug resistant strains of TB.
- Co-Receptor Conundrum
Since the late 1980s researchers have recognized that HIV isolates (viruses sampled from infected individuals) can be divided into one of two categories based on their ability to replicate in particular cells in the laboratory. In early 1996, researchers discovered that, in addition to latching onto the CD4 molecule in order to gain entry into T cells, HIV isolates utilized one of two different coreceptors: either CCR5 or CXCR4. One salutary result of this progress is the development of pharmaceutical compounds designed to inhibit the interaction between HIV and its various coreceptors. However, the larger questions of why HIV bifurcates into two variants with differing tropisms and how these variants relate to disease pathogenesis remain unanswered, leaving a cloud of uncertainty looming over the clinical development of both R5 and X4 inhibitors.