December 24th, 2011

Making a List and Checking it Twice, Then Making Sure 052 is On It

How big a news story was HPTN 052, which demonstrated that HIV treatment reduced transmission by at least 96%?

(I like to emphasize that “at least” bit, since it’s likely that none of the study subjects with undetectable HIV RNA levels transmitted to their partners — the one case that did transmit did so before virologic suppression.)

Well, sources as disparate as Science and Time magazine both chose 052 for their “Top 10” in this year’s review of scientific breakthroughs. Science even put 052 as #1, something that you can bet we’ll have in common with this august periodical when Journal Watch AIDS Clinical Care publishes its own “Top Stories” next week.

But a Bronx Cheer out to Scientific American, which not only excluded 052, but then mentioned the following as a runner up:

…the report of a new target against HIV, in which a doorway to infection (the so-called CCR5-receptor on immune cells) is blocked.

CCR5 blockade a “new target”? That news is so 2002.

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HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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