VIDEO: Factors underlying HIV persistence impact search for cure
There are several mechanisms that contribute to HIV persistence, all of which may influence the ability to develop a cure, according to Jonathan Z. Li, MD, MMSc, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and member of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Li reviews the factors thought to cause HIV persistence, including latently infected cells, residual viral replication and expansion of HIV-infected cells, and the strategies being used to overcome these barriers to a cure, including how to “draw out the virus from its transcriptionally silent state.”
“To me, these mechanisms are not mutually exclusive. On a population level and on an individual level, it’s likely to be a combination of these mechanisms that are leading to long-term persistence,” Li said.