forcing virus out of the reservoir or eliminating it, then when a person stops taking their medicine, there should be no rebound of virus because it will all be gone. Cure!!
The other approach used to target these cells is called “Block and lock”. In this approach, an experimental drug blocks the ability of the virus to replicate, after infected resting cells become activated. When this experimental drug is combined with regular HIV medicines, there has been no rebound in virus in the blood after the drugs are stopped; at least in research animals.
Ultimately, whether we are successful in eliminating the reservoir by forcing all the virus out and eliminating it, or by locking the virus in, the existence of the reservoir is a major barrier to curing this infection. Lots of research currently is focused on dealing with the reservoir to achieve a cure. We’re not there yet, but each study that fails gives us clues that can lead to success. Fingers crossed.
Dr. Crawford has over 25 years of experience in the treatment of HIV. While at Howard University School of Medicine, he worked in two HIV-specialty clinics at Howard University Hospital. He then did clinical research as a visiting scientist with the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He served as the Assistant Chief of Public Health Research with the Military HIV Research Program where he managed research studies under the President’s Emergency Plan for AID Relief (PEPFAR) in four African countries.
He is currently working in the Division of AIDS in the National Institutes of Health. He has published research in the leading infectious diseases journals and serves on the Editorial Board of the journal AIDS. Any views and perspectives in his articles on blackdoctor.org are not representative of any agency or organization but a reflection of his personal views.