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July 19, 2010

[Fauci on Cure Research]

The Cure Blog:

"Curing Existing Infections

"Despite considerable success in suppressing viremia and preventing disease progression in HIV-infected individuals, it has not been possible to induce permanent remission of disease in the absence of therapy. This is because HIV has the unique ability to shield itself from the immune system and from ART in protected cellular sanctuaries. These persistent reservoirs of infection are major obstacles to curing HIV infection. An increasing research effort is directed at determining the precise mechanisms of HIV persistence and using this information to develop novel interventions to eliminate or permanently suppress these viral reservoirs. The effects of a cure would be significant for individuals and society. Patients would be spared the cumulative effects of drug toxicities; a 'cured' individual would have minimal risk for transmitting the virus; and resources would be made available for other services, not only HIV-related, but also those directed at an overall strengthening of health care systems." Published in JAMA, July 21, 2010.