CSF HIV escape is a recently recognised phenomenon that suggests that despite suppressive treatment, HIV RNA may be detected in the CNS compartment in some individuals. In rare cases this is associated with clinical neurological disease, while in most cases, neurological consequences are not apparent. Attempts at characterising the biological substrates of CSF escape and further investigating the neurological consequences need to be made to better understand the implications of this condition for the HIV cure agenda as well as for clinical outcomes. The Global CSF HIV-1 Escape Consortium meeting, convened by the US National Institute of Mental Health, was a first step to gather investigators from diverse sites to discuss opportunities for future collaborative work on this emerging issue. To better understand CSF HIV escape and allow cross-site data reconciliation, it will be useful to reach a consensus set of definitions of the distinct forms of CSF escape, without which concerted cross-site efforts are difficult.