The UNMC HIV team traveled to Seattle to attend CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections) last month and came back inspired and eager to continue our clinical and research endeavors here in Omaha.
Dr. Susan Buchbinder, chair of the Scientific Program Committee opened the conference with a warm welcome to all conference attendees hailing from over 90 different countries. The opening and plenary lectures were all dynamic and topics ranged from the work done in HIV prevention using nonhuman primate models by Jeffrey Lifson to the innovative efforts to eliminate new HIV infections in New York City by the inimitable Dr. Demetre Daskalakis. The oral presentations can be found here.
We learned that the number of new HIV infections in the United States is finally beginning to decline thanks in large part to treatment as prevention and PrEP and heard about many new and investigational therapies. Research presentations covered a wide range of topics and UNMC’s HIV team presented a number of studies in the areas of pharmacology, PrEP, comorbidities, and TB.
- Jordan Broekhuis, a 4th year medical student and participant in the HIV Enhanced Medical Education Track at UNMC presented his findings from a survey study of pharmacists in Nebraska and Iowa in which he found that although respondents had limited knowledge and experience with PrEP, most indicated willingness to provide PrEP through collaborative practice agreements after additional training. See photo above.
- Anthony Podany, Pharm.D. and Assistant Professor in the College of Pharmacy presented data from a PK study of plasma and intracellular tenofovir levels in patients switched from TDF to TAF.
- Sara H. Bares, MD and Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases presented findings from a pooled study of 3 ACTG trials in which her team found that women gain more weight than men following the initiation of ART.
- Kim Scarsi, Pharm.D. and Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy was a coauthor and mentor on the first two studies listed above and also presented a poster on her work on an in vitro-in silico study of reduced dose efavirenz interaction with levonorgesterol.
- Susan Swindells, MBBS, Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the UNMC HIV Clinic, was a coauthor and mentor for the first two studies listed above and also presented two studies she has contributed to as a leader in the ACTG’s Tuberculosis Transformative Science Group. The first poster related to HIV testing uptake among household contacts of MDR-TB index cases in 8 countries and the second poster reported on the early bactericidal effect of INH during the first 14 days of TB therapy.
We are glad to be back home in Omaha but inspired to continue our research endeavors both locally and in collaboration with many of the people we connected with at CROI 2017.
Written by Dr. Sara Bares.