On 22nd August 2015, our third seminar this year was held at the Regent Hotel Singapore. A total of 96 physicians attended the IDS Seminar entitled Changing Face of HIV Management 2015.
Dr Wong, our first speaker illustrated the changing face of HIV management with a case study of a HIV positive woman who was initially critically ill with Pneumocystis pneumonia. She required prolonged rehab and responded well to antiretroviral therapy (ART). She has since remarried and five years later, gave birth to a healthy seronegative daughter. Dr Wong then continued the lecture by describing the changing epidemiology and demographics, providing statistics from UNAIDS, reviewing the UN Goals for HIV for 2015 and updating participants on HIV statistics in Singapore. He ended the lecture by reviewing the progress made so far especially with ART and the further challenges ahead for managing HIV infection.
Dr Lam, reviewed the latest research that was discussed at the recent International AIDS Society Conference held in Vancouver, Canada in July 2015. She provided findings from the Insight START Study and also covered topics such as advances in pre-exposure prophylaxis, “”The Road to Cure””, HIV HCV Coinfection and the recent UNAIDS goals for 2020 entitled : 90-90-90. Dr Lam concluded with details of treatment as prevention and the impending changes to WHO treatment guidelines that are likely to recommend treatment of all patients with HIV infection regardless of CD4 cell counts.
In 2014, globally, there was estimated 36.9 million persons living with HIV. Dr Raymond Fong, our third speaker discussed the impact of controlling HIV infection and that with the advent of combination ART, life expectancy has significantly improved. Numerous studies have found that HIV patients on ART can live a near normal life. Dr Fong discussed the co-morbidities that HIV patients may have, issues relating to HIV discordant couples, the safe options for conception and advice on HIV & Travel.
Mrs Iris Verghese, provided her past experience as a counsellor for AIDS and HIV patients and discussed the psychosocial aspects of HIV/AIDS. She provided information on the initial response of HIV patients who were newly diagnosed, the stigma and discrimination the patients and relatives experience and the lifestyle modifications that the patients need to go through. Finally she provided the Support Services which are available in Singapore for patients with HIV infection.
The seminar ended with a lively Q&A session. Family physicians brought up cases which they encountered in their clinics and asked for advice from the panel of speakers.
We are grateful to MSD for sponsoring the venue and food for this seminar.