The people who know me best know that I adore this t-shirt because there is nothing I love better than a new idea. (Thanks for the creation, People for Urban Progress! Of course I adore anything made locally in Fountain Square as well!)
I have spent the week in Boston, completely immersed in new ideas at the CROI meetings (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections – basically HIV!) Busy, exhausting, and completely inspiring. It has been a privilege to network and present and meet with colleagues from around the world to think together about new ideas for taking care of children with HIV.
Some of my favorite new ideas for the week:
- Efforts to develop new formulations of HIV medicines for children that meet my wishlist — the right doses of the right medicines for growing children, in versions that they can take (liquids, granules that can be sprinkled in food) and that do not taste terrible. (These should not be new ideas, but they are. No one thinks about kids’ medicines.)
- A new project I am leading with sites in Southern Africa and Asia and East Africa to figure out the best way to measure children’s adherence to HIV medicines.
- Monitoring medication adherence with all sorts of wild, convenient, innovative technologies that can tell me right away if a family is having problems with this challenge of having a child take medicines twice a day, every day.
- A global cohort of children from sites all around the world that could be put together to answer big questions that we have about how to take the best care of children with HIV.
- Actually figuring out whether our children’s HIV viruses are becoming resistant to the medicines we are using by doing brand-new tests to look at the genotyping of the virus.
I was given a brand-new opportunity at this meeting as well; I was elected as the new chair for the pediatric group of a global consortium of HIV care sites, the world’s biggest collaboration of HIV care programs. An exciting honor – and a great way to come up with new ideas for helping kids around the world.
And the pediatric HIV world was also abuzz with the possibility that we have officially identified another baby who is HIV-free after really aggressive early treatment of an HIV infection in the first hours after birth. I would actually bet that there are more of these HIV remissions in babies (we are reluctant to say “HIV cure”, but it just might be!), but only sites that can do lots and lots and lots of tests can prove that it’s actually happened. Sites like ours in Kenya can only wonder…
So, lots of new ideas here in Boston. A good week for me.