Editorial

Author List
Sabine Kinloch-de Lo√ęs

Abstract

It is with great pleasure that we introduce the last issue of the Journal for 2019 and thank all its authors and reviewers. It is always a privilege to see the diverse origins of the submitted articles, which reflects on our aim to reach an audience as wide as possible. Articles in this issue cover mostly HIV, HBV and HCV infections. We are indebted to our conference reviewers who give their time to produce succinct but thorough summaries of important conferences on HIV and associated viruses. The 2019 IAS Conference in Mexico City last July and the HIV/HBV Forum Highlights demonstrate the progress achieved in the field of HIV and HBV eradication and the parallels and differences between these two infections. The IAS Conference report describes the important developments in novel antiretroviral drugs and simplification of treatment with two-drug regimens among others. Some of the burning issues such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, weight gain, the microbiome, comorbidities, integrase inhibitors in pregnancy and prophylactic vaccine development are included in this summary. In their analysis Barr and Jefferys show the high interest for HIV-1 cure and community involvement with a wish to diversify the populations involved. William Freshwater reports on his experience as a participant in a trial involving analytical treatment interruption to assess virological control post treatment interruption. This viewpoint should help potential participants to understand the issues facing them in cure studies when an interruption of treatment is required to assess the impact of the intervention. It is estimated that around 21% of HIV-positive individuals are unaware of their status. The possibility of self-testing for HIV has been proposed to attempt to increase the number of people tested and takes into context the issues among others of stigma and confidentiality. Liu et al. report on a qualitative study of HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in a Chinese city and is important for programmes that seek to expand HIV testing services to MSM. In another research article by Stirrup et al. the issue of failure of a first antiretroviral regimen, a worrying issue, is addressed. The association between baseline characteristics, CD4 count response and virological failure on a first-line efavirenz, tenofovir and emtricitabine regimen shows the importance of using high genetic barrier agents in patients with a low CD4 T cell count at baseline in order to decrease virological failure. When considering the very important issue of HIV and co-infection such as tuberculosis, Gatechompol et al. argue in their article for further interventions in dealing with HIV-1 positive patients with tuberculosis in Thailand because of a higher mortality rate than in those not infected with HIV. The importance of diagnosing and treating HCV infection remains paramount. In their research article, Popping et al. argue in a modelling analysis in MSM from the Netherlands for cost-saving by using core antigen for monitoring. When looking at increasing the number of diagnosed among undiagnosed individuals with HCV, Sadeghimehr et al. have modelled the outcome of various testing strategies in Switzerland. Finally, an article by Shabaruddin et al. and reports on the challenges to meet the HCV World Health Organisation elimination targets by 2030 in Malaysia. We continue to aim to make the Journal widely accessible in order to promote information sharing among all those concerned and look forward to further progress in research, prevention and treatment for viral infections in 2020.

It is with great pleasure that we introduce the last issue of the Journal for 2019 and thank all its authors and reviewers. It is always a privilege to see the diverse origins of the submitted articles, which reflects on our aim to reach an audience as wide as possible. Articles in this issue cover mostly HIV, HBV and HCV infections. We are indebted to our conference reviewers who give their time to produce succinct but thorough summaries of important conferences on HIV and associated viruses. The 2019 IAS Conference in Mexico City last July and the HIV/HBV Forum Highlights demonstrate the progress achieved in the field of HIV and HBV eradication and the parallels and differences between these two infections. The IAS Conference report describes the important developments in novel antiretroviral drugs and simplification of treatment with two-drug regimens among others. Some of the burning issues such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, weight gain, the microbiome, comorbidities, integrase inhibitors in pregnancy and prophylactic vaccine development are included in this summary. In their analysis Barr and Jefferys show the high interest for HIV-1 cure and community involvement with a wish to diversify the populations involved. William Freshwater reports on his experience as a participant in a trial involving analytical treatment interruption to assess virological control post treatment interruption. This viewpoint should help potential participants to understand the issues facing them in cure studies when an interruption of treatment is required to assess the impact of the intervention. It is estimated that around 21% of HIV-positive individuals are unaware of their status. The possibility of self-testing for HIV has been proposed to attempt to increase the number of people tested and takes into context the issues among others of stigma and confidentiality. Liu et al. report on a qualitative study of HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in a Chinese city and is important for programmes that seek to expand HIV testing services to MSM. In another research article by Stirrup et al. the issue of failure of a first antiretroviral regimen, a worrying issue, is addressed. The association between baseline characteristics, CD4 count response and virological failure on a first-line efavirenz, tenofovir and emtricitabine regimen shows the importance of using high genetic barrier agents in patients with a low CD4 T cell count at baseline in order to decrease virological failure. When considering the very important issue of HIV and co-infection such as tuberculosis, Gatechompol et al. argue in their article for further interventions in dealing with HIV-1 positive patients with tuberculosis in Thailand because of a higher mortality rate than in those not infected with HIV. The importance of diagnosing and treating HCV infection remains paramount. In their research article, Popping et al. argue in a modelling analysis in MSM from the Netherlands for cost-saving by using core antigen for monitoring. When looking at increasing the number of diagnosed among undiagnosed individuals with HCV, Sadeghimehr et al. have modelled the outcome of various testing strategies in Switzerland. Finally, an article by Shabaruddin et al. and reports on the challenges to meet the HCV World Health Organisation elimination targets by 2030 in Malaysia. We continue to aim to make the Journal widely accessible in order to promote information sharing among all those concerned and look forward to further progress in research, prevention and treatment for viral infections in 2020.

Article Category

HIV cure research

Article Type

Editorial

Posted Date

04-11-2019

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