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IAS 2013: The Future of HIV Cure Research [VIDEO]


Research towards a cure for HIV was a key theme of the 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) last month in Kuala Lumpur, as well as a 2-day IAS pre-conference. While hesitant to make firm predictions, experts offered some cautious opinions on the future of cure research.

[Sharon Lewin, John Frater, and Daniel Kuritzkes speak at IAS 2013 press conference, Kuala Lumpur, July 2, 2013]

Researchers presented some interesting findings at the meetings, including data on 2 Boston men with HIV who received allogeneic stem cell transplants to treat lymphoma, undertook experimental interruptions of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and remain free of detectable virus at 7 and 15 weeks.

These cases, and that of a child in Mississippi who started who started combination ART around 30 hours after birth and continues to appear HIV-free after 15 months of treatment, do not mean a cure is at hand. But they do suggest that some individuals, under special circumstances, may be able to achieve a "functional cure" that allows them to remain off ART without disease progression for a prolonged period.

The most common question for researchers in the field is when a practical cure might become widely available. Though experts are reluctant to make predictions at this early stage, Sharon Lewin from Monash University, John Frater from Oxford University, and Daniel Kuritzkes from Brigham and Women's Hospital offered some thoughts on possible timelines and barriers at an IAS "Towards an HIV Cure" press conference.

See also:

IAS 2013: Boston Stem Cell Transplant Recipients Now Controlling HIV Off Treatment

IAS 2013: Kick, Kill, Contain -- Researchers Examine 3 Possible Steps in a Cure for HIV



International AIDS Society. "Towards an HIV Cure" press conference. 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention. Kuala Lumpur, July 2, 2013.