Perspectives on the Future of HIV Management
MAY 18, 2018
MD Magazine Staff
Joseph Eron, MD: This has been a terrific discussion. We’ve touched on an awful lot of things. Eric, you get to be the first person to close out the program. May you give us a quick summary of what we’ve talked about? Where do you think we are with HIV?
Eric Daar, MD: Sure. I think we’re in an amazing place, in the field. This allows us to express a lot of optimism for our patients. We can really encourage people to want to get diagnosed and to get into care, and can hopefully reassure them that in most parts of the United States, they’ll have access to the best treatments available. I always say to patients, “Anything good that you’ve heard about regarding the advances in HIV—it’s better.” It really is. I don’t think anyone would have ever have dreamed that we would be talking about 1 small pill a day with no adverse effects, that will suppress the viral load forever and, on top of that, not allow you to transmit to your partner. It’s fantastic, but we still have a lot of hurdles to overcome. We still have this cascade issue where many patients are not in care. I think those have become the higher priorities in research, in targeting new prevention strategies and trying to link and retain that high-risk population into care.
Joseph Eron, MD: Colleen?
Colleen Kelley, MD: Remembering the stark disparities that we have, globally, but even in the United States, with respect to HIV treatment and prevention, in marginalized populations—gender minorities, sexual minorities, racial minorities, and folks who live in poverty—not all people are seeing these amazing advances to the same degree that other people are. And so, that’s where we need to be focusing our efforts when renewing our commitment to ending the epidemic.
Joseph Eron, MD: Dan, the last words?
Daniel Kuritzkes, MD: In a field that’s evolved so much since we first recognized AIDS as an epidemic viral infection, in 1981, it’s remarkable how much continued progress we’re still making. People need to keep abreast of the changes in therapy and the continued improvements in therapy, and need to continue to encourage their patients to stick with it. We are going to be able to keep all of these people alive for a natural lifespan, as long as they remain engaged in care. We need to do a much better job of reaching out to the people who are not in care, making sure that they get into care and start treatment.
Joseph Eron, MD: Great. On behalf of our panel, I’d like to thank you all for joining us. Thanks again.
Transcript edited for clarity.