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Current Issues in HIV Treatment: NATAP's Fifth Continuing Education Symposium
held January 17th, 1998 at NYU  Medical Center, Farkas Auditorium, New York

Highlights from the Welcoming Address
by Jules Levin (given January 17th, 1998)

This community forum brings together a group of leading researchers to discuss several key areas of HIV treatment, including discussions on HIV in compartments other than blood, current issues in treating opportunisitic infections, and about new thymus transplant research.

Now that we can suppress viral load in the blood to very low levels, a crucial question remains -- what is the effect of potent combination therapies on other reservoirs for HIV in a person's body? Since 98% or HIV reseides in the lymph tissue, we will discuss the importance of the effect of therapy on HIV in the lyumph tissue. Another protected or unique compartment for HIV may be the brain. Our understanding of HIV activity in the vbrain is not well understood. A key question is -- how should we use all of the available antiretroviral therapies with regards to HIV-related brain dysfunctions? Today we will discuss what we know and what we don't know about these reservoirs for HIV. The long-term benefits of antiretroviral therapy may be closely tied to HIV activity in these and other reservoirs.

Due to improvements in CD4 counts and viral load from potent antiretroviral therapy, the chances of contracting anopportunistic infection have decreased. The immune system appears to be improving. Some pre-exisiting opportunistic infections in some people have gone into remission. However, how to handle prophylaxis and maintenance treatment once a person has success with potent combination theraphy is still uncertain. Some individuals are discontinuing certain prophylaxis treatments under speicific conditions, but such practice is experimental. We will discuss treatment and prophylaxis for HIV in the new era of potent therapies and the issue of discontinuing prophylaxis or maintenance therapy.

Finally, we will discuss experimental research into thymus transplants for HIV in the hopes of improving the immune system.

NATAP tries to bring education on the most cutting edge and important topics to a wide and diverse audience.

Speakers at the January 17th 1998 Forum included:

Jules Levin, Executive Director of NATAP, Highlights from the Welcoming Address
Dr. Robert Siliciano, MD - HIV in the Lymph Tissue and Latent Long-lasting Virus in T-Cells (CD4s).

Dr. Justin McArthur, MBBS, MPH - The Brain, HIV, and the Effect of New Treatments
Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, MD - Treatment and Prophylaxis for Opportunistic Infections in the New Potent Therapy Era. Can Prophylaxis or Maintenance Therapy Be Discontinued?
Dr. Louise Markert, Thymus Transplant Research for HIV and Its Potential for Immune Reconstitution