Posted on June 06, 2019
"Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health."
"ART involves taking a combination (usually three) of drugs daily, often combined into a single pill. ART has transformed the lives of people with HIV, enabling those with access to the medications to live a near-normal lifespan. Despite this success, the side effects, pill fatigue, stigma and expense of taking daily ART for life have motivated researchers to find an alternative, write NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and colleagues. Consequently, scientists are seeking ways to put HIV into full and sustained remission so daily ART is unnecessary. The authors say feasible approaches must involve minimal risk and manageable side effects for people with HIV and must be inexpensive and scalable to millions of individuals."
"A major obstacle to sustained ART-free HIV remission is the persistence of viral reservoirs. These reservoirs consist of HIV-infected cells containing HIV genetic material that can generate new virus particles. The cells have entered a resting state that they maintain until they are activated to produce HIV."