News & AnalysisHIV/AIDS Research

Tissue Says Blood Is Misleading, Confusing HIV Cure Efforts

Science  23 Dec 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6063, pp. 1614
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6063.1614

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Summary

Three back-to-back talks at a meeting earlier this month provided fresh insights into why HIV is so difficult to eliminate from the body: Even when antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) knock down HIV to undetectable levels in blood, the virus remains active in tissues. Sparked in part by the apparent cure of the "Berlin patient," many of those attending the meeting are exploring ways to seek out and destroy the tiny amounts of HIV left in the bodies of people who take powerful ARVs. The main obstacle to a cure is that reservoirs of cells that harbor latent HIV still persist.