PerspectiveHIV

Shock and kill with caution

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Science  14 Oct 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6309, pp. 177-178
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8094

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Summary

Antiretroviral therapy has made life-long suppression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication a possibility for some patients. But with the 2015 estimate of 36.7 million people infected worldwide, there is a great need to explore other ways to address this epidemic—from preventing new infections by treating uninfected high-risk individuals, to developing a vaccine, to targeting latent HIV that hides in immune cells and persists in patients. The idea of clearing latent infection has prompted strategies aimed at an HIV-1 cure. Although this approach should continue to be tested, other approaches, including those that seek to permanently suppress the latent virus, should also be explored. Different strategies may target different viral reservoirs, and may turn out to be complementary.