Current approaches to assess HIV-1 persistence

Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2016 Jul;11(4):424-31. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000282.


Purpose of review: The persistence of HIV within long-lived HIV-infected CD4 T cells is the primary obstacle towards HIV eradication and numerous strategies are currently being evaluated to target and kill HIV-infected cells to ultimately find a cure. HIV reservoirs are classically quantified by standard methods such as integrated HIV DNA (Alu PCR) and/or quantitative viral outgrowth assay; however, recent technical advances may offer new opportunities to comprehensively assess the impact of clinical interventions.

Recent findings: Digital droplet PCR, tat/rev-induced limiting dilution analysis, enhanced quantitative viral outgrowth assay, and whole genome sequencing technologies offer increased precision and/or higher sensitivity to quantify and characterize HIV reservoirs in antiretroviral therapy-treated HIV-infected patients.

Summary: The objective of this review is to highlight the characteristics and limits of recent technical advances that may help to monitor the impact of clinical interventions in antiretroviral therapy-treated patients.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • Humans
  • Viral Load / methods*
  • Viral Load / trends
  • Virus Latency*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents