Why We Haven’t Cured HIV Infection: A Major Hurdle To Overcome

A little more than twenty years ago, two developments occurred around the same time that tremendously advanced our ability to treat and manage HIV infection. First, we finally had powerful combinations of drugs that could suppress the HIV virus, primarily a class known as the protease inhibitors (drugs like Viracept, Kaletra, Reyataz and Prezista). Around the same time, we had validated that the viral load, a test that tells how much HIV was in the blood, was a good way to measure how active the infection was and how effectively the drugs were working. Combining these two advancements, we were able to show that these powerful drug combinations could totally suppress the activity of the virus in the blood undetectable viral load.