The challenge of finding a cure for HIV infection

Science. 2009 Mar 6;323(5919):1304-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1165706.


Although combination therapy for HIV infection represents a triumph for modern medicine, chronic suppressive therapy is required to contain persistent infection in reservoirs such as latently infected CD4+ lymphocytes and cells of the macrophage-monocyte lineage. Despite its success, chronic suppressive therapy is limited by its cost, the requirement of lifelong adherence, and the unknown effects of long-term treatment. This review discusses our current understanding of suppressive antiretroviral therapy, the latent viral reservoir, and the needs for and challenges of attacking this reservoir to achieve a cure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Animals
  • Anti-HIV Agents / economics
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / adverse effects
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / economics
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Discovery
  • HIV / drug effects*
  • HIV / physiology
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Viremia / drug therapy
  • Virus Latency / drug effects*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Anti-HIV Agents