Follow Edwin DeJesus, M.D., as he reports from the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston, Massachusetts this week. He is presenting several times and will be reporting in each day.

Edwin DeJesus, M.D.

Edwin DeJesus, M.D.

Day 1: February 22

Greetings everyone from beautiful Boston, where this year’s 23rd CROI, or Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, brings the best worldwide HIV/AIDS researchers and clinicians together to share the latest important developments.

This conference is the most important yearly global HIV/AIDS venue, where collaborations from basic science and clinical investigation merge. I will be reporting in daily, to provide the most important findings that I believe have significant implications in clinical practice.

What is expected in this year’s CROI?

We will learn more about the clinical implication of PrEP, and how can it be improved.

What have we learned so far on its real life clinical use?

We will learn about other forms of HIV prevention.

We will see data on a few new drugs and treatment strategies from our already infected patients; as well as learn about the efficacy and safety of a newer version of Truvada for patients already on suppressed on therapy.

Globally we will get an update on the so call 90-90-90 set previously by the UNAIDS: By 2020, the goal is to have :

  • 90% of HIV infected people identified,
  • 90% of those on-treatment, and
  • 90% of those doing well with a fully suppressed virus.
  • Many other studies and interesting information are expected, so stay tuned!

Day 2: February 23

Dr. Edwin DeJesus reports that CROI (Conference on Retrovirus and Opportunistic Infections) welcomed the top 4,000 HIV/AIDS researchers and clinicians from around the world.  This conference is where the world’s leading researchers submitted over 2,000 studies for peer review. The innovative research presented here is what leads to break throughs in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care.

Several exciting studies presented focused on “Elite Controllers” or patients that are naturally able to remain HIV suppressed despite not taking any anti-HIV medications. The research into how these patients remain virally suppressed is showing great promise and new ways to treat, prevent and even cure HIV. One benefit from this research is the possibility of a single injection every 1-2 months instead of a pill every day.

The conference is getting more interesting by the day, with great presentations still to come, so stay tuned!

Day 3: February 24

Another amazing day at #CROI2016!! So if current ARV therapy is effective why do we need newer anti-HIV medications? Research presented at CROI clearly illustrates the evolution of drug therapy over the years has resulted in fewer side effects and show a dramatic increase in life expectancy among those on ART. CROI is always a very exciting time for me because of the all the fascinating new studies! #CROI #CROI2016 #OICOrlando

A variety of topics were discussed today. Current Antiretroviral Therapy (ARV) therapy is extremely effective when is available for everyone that needs it, so do we need more and newer anti-HIV medications?  We learned about how the evolution of current therapy is resulting in a decrease of adverse events previously associated to the HIV treatment.  A study presented yesterday also showed how the availability of better treatments is resulting in a significant improvement in HIV related mortality.

Dramatic increase in Life Expectancy in HIV positive individual  The life expectancy gap between HIV positive compared to HIV negative people in the US persist, but it is narrowing. Data from Kaiser Permanente looked 25,000 HIV positive patients and compared them to  ~250,000 HIV negatives to look at death rates in both groups.  The life expectancy of a 20 y/o HIV negative person during  1996 to 2011 increased from 83 to 85 years. The life expectancy of a 20 y/o HIV positive man increased during 1996 to 2011, from 39 years to 73 years. That is remarkable! So in 12 years the average life expectancy of a HIV positive individual improved 44 years which means with the dramatic improvements in treatment since 2011 it is probably even higher.

Of note is that the HIV positive group had a higher proportions of smoker (45% versus 31%), high rates of ever abusing alcohol or drugs (21% versus 9%), and more coinfected with hepatitis B or C (12% versus 2%).

Despite the success of the therapies currently available researchers continue to look and find potentially better drugs to use as part of our armamentarium to treat our patients.  Several studies described new agents, new classes, newer mechanism of action, new delivery of active drug, and safer agents for long term use.

Day 4: February 25

Dr. Edwin DeJesus is involved with seven (7) presentations/programs at CROI.  He is the ONLY medical provider  in Central Florida to be presenting at CROI.    A few of the programs that he is presenting are as follows:

OIC is constantly involved in clinical research and Dr. DeJesus presented the data at #CROI from 7 studies that recently concluded. Study #1 Presented at #CROI – New and improved Truvada! The current Truvada (TDF) is a medication used for both HIV prevention and treatment but one of the possible side effects is reduced kidney function and a decline in bone mineral density. For over a year, OIC has been conducting clinical research on a new formulation of Truvada (TAF). The research Dr. DeJesus co-authored shows that the new formulation of Truvada (TAF) is just as effective at HIV prevention and treatment AND greatly reduces these side effects. #CROI2016 #OICOrlando

Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF) in a Single-Tablet Regimen in Initial HIV-1 Therapy

Clinical Research Study #2 Presented at #CROI – Stribild is comprised of Viteka (EVG), Tyboost (Cobi), and Truvada (TDF) and is a medication used to treat HIV. But one of the components (the existing Truvada TDF) has side effects of reduced kidney function and a decline in bone mineral density. This study examined if Genvoya, which is the same as Stribild but instead has the new Truvada (TAF), is just as effective at treating HIV. The data shows that Genvoya is slightly better at viral suppression and significantly reduces these side effects. #CROI2016 #OICOrlando