HIV Cure Dependent on Clearing Viral Reservoirs

Persistent HIV reservoirs present ongoing treatment challenge.

Persistent HIV reservoirs present ongoing treatment challenge.

Overcoming persistent viral reservoirs remains a difficult hurdle to overcome for an HIV cure to be achieved, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

An article by the NIAID described how these persistent reservoirs form in the body and why they remain a formidable obstacle in the quest to achieve a cure.

Current therapeutic research strategies seek to eliminate or control the virus without daily antiretroviral therapy (ART), which includes making CD4+ T cells resistant to the virus while enhancing immunity against infection. Improving the understanding of viral reservoirs and the effect of therapy on these reservoirs is vital to developing successful therapeutic strategies for long-term control of HIV infection, according to the NIAID.

As increased funding has advanced the development of therapeutic strategies on the road to an HIV cure, significant insights have been gained in understanding the pathogenesis of HIV-related disease. Despite this fact, achieving an HIV cure is still extremely challenging, the authors note.

Hope still exists in these recent advances that a cure is achievable. Doing so, however, necessitates a significant and sustained effort to enhance understanding of the establishment, composition, maintenance, and renewal of HIV reservoirs, the authors wrote.