Have you ever had a bone for science? I used to when I was growing up. I remember I used to want to be a scientist, I had so many questions about so many things and I wanted to know everything. I enjoyed running my little experiments to see what would happen if you froze a coke or mixed things together. I was inquisitive. But as you might guess I never became a scientist -- or even a high school graduate (I was a troubled youth), but I still have an interest and respect for science so I love attending a conference like the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), even though most of the language is above my pay grade, lol. Oh it's intensely science heavy for sure, but I still enjoy it.
I love to learn something incredible and exciting. I remember last year learning more about cure research and the progress of long-acting treatments in various forms from injectables to implants to patches. That excited me because I had long wished for a monthly injection or something long acting. This year I've learned of a THIRD case of HIV remission, and this time it's a multiracial, middle-aged woman from the United States!! Unfortunately, for the time being, this only helps if you have another life-threatening illness that requires stem cell transplantation -- but I still feel a sense of hope.
CROI is the world's leading science-based event in the field and highly esteemed in the science community, so I felt honored to attend. The virtual platform has been great; I love being able to watch recordings of sessions you missed or just need to hear again to perhaps take better notes or something, but I hear that the in-person experience is amazing. I sure miss in-person meetings. Next year CROI is being planned as an in-person meeting and will be held in Seattle, Washington. I would really love to attend. This is my second CROI and I haven't "attended" one yet because both have been virtual, but I've enjoyed them both anyway.
There were two Margarita Breakfast Clubs -- these are small, intimate meetings before the official CROI day begins, with fantastic presenters, where the researchers and scientists can not only present to, but also interact with the community, the attendees of CROI, and anyone else who would like to join, as CROI registration isn't necessary for attending the Margarita Breakfast Club meetings.
The sessions (I ain't gonna lie) were mind-blowing -- in more ways than one. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand everything, but you can make out most of it and it seems to get easier with time. The information being presented is amazing information, albeit very complicated. It can be difficult to figure out what notes you need to write -- so "my little trick" is I like to take pictures of all the slides and use them as my notes to write something about them, but this isn't always easy when the slides can look like this...
Yeah lol. I just wish some of the slides were a little more easily translatable like notes.
CROI is a fantastic conference and an amazing learning experience that you should definitely try to attend if presented with the opportunity. You never know what amazing things you might learn in the latest science in conditions like HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis and COVID-19. Check it out and I hope to see you in Seattle in 2023.