Purpose of review: In this issue of Current Opinion, the Guest Editors and their colleagues provide a comprehensive overview of current activities aimed at optimizing global HIV treatment. In this introduction, we outline current goals and approaches that will be described in more detail elsewhere in this issue.
Recent findings: Two recent conferences, the first and second Conference on Antiretroviral Drug Optimization (CADO), brought together experts from academia, governments, foundations, the pharmaceutical industry, and community activists to develop a global HIV-treatment research agenda for the coming decade focused on better therapies and how to make them accessible to a broader population of people living with HIV. Important recommendations included a focus on more efficient process chemistry for antiretroviral drugs, investigation of antiretroviral dose reduction as a possible optimization strategy, recognition of the increasing importance of concurrent infections and comorbidities especially tuberculosis and aging-related diseases, and identifying a highly effective and affordable nontoxic, once-daily fixed-dose combination regimen for first-line treatment.
Summary: HIV treatment optimization is a process intended to enhance the long-term efficacy, adherence, tolerability, safety, convenience, and affordability of combination ART. The ultimate goal of this process is to expand access to well tolerated and effective lifetime treatment to all those in need.