February 28th, 2023

Really Rapid Review — CROI 2023, Seattle

“Look up there! It’s Microsoft and Amazon stock!” National Archives, 1962.

In a recent chat I had on a local TV network on this year’s respiratory virus season, the host mentioned that “this year felt very post-pandemic”, prompting me reflexively to knock wood — and I’m not a superstitious person.

But even we ID doctors must acknowledge the dramatic improvement in COVID severity this winter compared to the last two, both of which were severe enough to make the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, or CROI, stick to the virtual-only format. And, of course, historically, CROI was the very first scientific conference to go this route, way back in March 2020, a period about which the less said the better.

(Involuntary shudder.)

But on to this year’s CROI, which was available in-person or virtual, taking place once again in Seattle, a place it’s been several times before. It’s our premiere scientific conference, covering not just HIV, but also sexually transmitted infections (STIs), hepatitis, and now SARS-CoV-2, with many excellent studies on all these scourges.

This week, in this Really Rapid Review™, I’ll cover the non-COVID studies, with take-home messages and sometimes a brief comment. You’ll see the abstract numbers in brackets and links to either the abstract (if available) or to the invaluable NATAP site, which somehow continues to aggregate many of the actual slide presentations and posters in real-time. Bravo for that, and long may it live!

Of course, there were numerous additional interesting studies not mentioned here, apologies if I left out your favorites — feel free to cite them in the comments.

And it was really fun to visit Seattle again, a place with a strong familial connection. Plus, the sparkling new wing of the convention center hosted the conference.

The weather? Cold and rainy — winter in Seattle, you know — and it even snowed a bit the last day. No one ever accused the CROI organizers of picking their winter locations in tropical paradise, that’s for sure.

8 Responses to “Really Rapid Review — CROI 2023, Seattle”

  1. Denise Ramsden says:

    I can always count on you Paul for these great CROI synopses. Appreciate it!

  2. Larrry R says:

    Great summary! And I didn’t even have to go to Seattle in the winter.

  3. Yijia says:

    I’m a bit surprised and scared about this cab/rpv concentration study. https://natap.org/2023/CROI/croi_32.htm Granted the first quartile of pooled trial results weee yes as threshold , still… that one case with VF, bmi is only 29… I guess people should try to get oral lead in as much as possible.

    • Paul Sax says:

      CAB/RPV takes us back to a time when even 100% adherence didn’t guarantee virologic suppression. Almost, but not quite.

  4. Tim Lahey says:

    Thank you Paul! I couldn’t get to Seattle this year so appreciate this fantastic summary

  5. Philip Bolduc says:

    Paul – as always I really appreciate your CROI rapid review. Lots of interesting material this year. One small thing – I clicked on the link for the DOXYVAC study of doxy PEP reducing other STIs and it brought me to your blog posting on the PANORAMIC study on molnupiravir.

  6. Loretta S says:

    Thanks for this summary, Paul, as always. This statement is why giving doxycycline as PEP gives me pause: “Although we use doxy-PEP for tick bites for Lyme areas, this intervention for STIs is likely to be much more frequent.” I have to believe that with increased frequency of doxy as prophylaxis, we will start to see resistance. Still an amazing group of studies, though. I joke with my students that if I were sent to a desert isle and could only choose one antibiotic to take with me, it would be doxycycline. 🙂

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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