March 1st, 2015

Really Rapid Review — CROI 2015, Seattle

croi2015_w280x100For the 3rd time in its illustrious history, the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) returned to Seattle this past week for it’s 22nd meeting. For those of us living in the North Pole, 50 degrees and drizzle never felt so wonderful!

(See image below for graphic representation — that’s my dog Louie wondering what happened to his world. Click on image for full impact.)

With 4000 attendees (capped at that number to keep it relatively “intimate”) and almost half of them from non-U.S. countries, CROI remains a dynamic, incredibly interesting meeting — in my opinion our very best HIV research gathering, guaranteed to make you sleepless while trying to cover it all. (Good thing we were in Seattle.) Where else can we get clinical, basic, translational, and behavioral researchers all together?

So on we go to a summary, a Really Rapid Review™ of some of the most interesting studies at the conference (at least from one perspective). Links are to the conference website (excellent this year), abstract #’s in brackets, and many of the oral presentations are available for webcast here. List is organized roughly by prevention, treatment, complications, cure, and miscellaneous cool stuff; please list in the comments any important studies I’ve missed!

Now, about Seattle. I first visited this city in the early 1980s, and it has of course boomed since then, with many more sensational restaurants, high-rises, more traffic, hipsters (though increasingly priced out of living there), and encouragingly much greater access to it’s beautiful waterfront. A spectacular city, with a terrific convention center.

And it’s of course the home of Boeing, Microsoft — Bill Gates gave a talk at CROI in 2002 — and Starbucks, and if if you’re used to the generic Starbucks on your street corner, in your strip mall, or in your hotel lobby, they have some Starbucks in Seattle that look like coffee museums.

We’ll see you next year in Boston, my home town. And let the record show that there has never been a CROI in Boston that was in any serious way hampered by the weather.

Fingers (numb though they might be) crossed.

8 Responses to “Really Rapid Review — CROI 2015, Seattle”

  1. Shiva Saboori says:

    Dear Dr. Sax,
    Thank you for being sleepless in Seattle so the rest of us can benefit from your excellent rapid review of the CROI meeting.
    One question for you re. PrEP in discordant couples;
    In a situation when the infected partner has been suppressed for years on ART, is there any logic to PrEP for the uninflected partner?
    There seems to be a lot of controversy in this area and people quote the recommendations that PrEP is for discordant couples, but weren’t the studies that lead to that recommendation based on mostly untreated HIV infected partners?
    Thank you as always for spreading knowledge in a way that is absorbable in our too busy lives.

    • Paul Sax says:

      In a situation when the infected partner has been suppressed for years on ART, is there any logic to PrEP for the uninflected partner?

      This comes up a lot. Right now I take it on a case-by-case basis, depending predominantly on whether it’s a monogamous relationship or not. I’m going to write more about this controversy one of these days …

  2. Loretta S says:

    Paul, I believe you have outdone yourself with this excellent, quick review of important conference highlights. Scrolling through it, I am convinced you did not sleep at all.

    P.S. Louie has that same look on his face that I have seen on my dogs, as they go out into a snow “canyon” I have shoveled for them: “You’re kidding me, right?”. Always glad to see Louie.

  3. Claudia Cortes says:

    any opinion about the opening in a department store?
    a little bizarre, or not??

  4. ade3000 says:

    Really great summary thank you

  5. Omar S says:

    Hi, agree with Claudia, who were those that bought at the opening????? Otherwise the CROI was fantastic being Ebola session the most! I

  6. […] were shared.  A good summary of the HIV research presented at the conference can be found here, courtesy of Dr. Paul Sax.  And webcasts of many of the presentations (including slides +/- audio […]


    Hello, Dr. Sax,

    Thank you for your wonderful RRR.

    Concerning NPEP (or PEPSE), I always try to help patients take the decision on whether to take it or not based on clinical evidence. But when it comes to monogamous couples where the person with HIV has had VS for more than six months, things are not so clear to me any more: what’s the REAL impact of offering NPEP to these patients?



HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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