Advances in cell and gene therapy for HIV disease: it is good to be specific

Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2021 Mar 1;16(2):83-87. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000666.


Purpose of review: Tremendous advances in cell and gene therapy may soon realize the goal of treating and possibly curing HIV disease. These advances rely on new technologies for cell engineering and new strategies for product manufacturing that are targeting the most important immune deficits in HIV and promising to reconstitute protective, antiviral immunity and achieve natural suppression of HIV disease.

Recent findings: We summarize important advances in vectored passive immunity, e.g., directing in vivo expression of protective antibodies or antiviral proteins, B cell engineering to overcome the inadequate humoral immune response to HIV, and T cell engineering that is breaking new ground using viral vector modification of HIV specific T cells. These innovative approaches build on a substantial history of gene and cell therapy research in HIV disease.

Summary: Cell and gene therapy for HIV disease has been an area of tremendous innovation during the nearly two decades since early reports showed evidence for modulating disease. Recent efforts are building on the early experiences, closing gaps in previous approaches, and moving closer to effective treatment. Products approaching or already in clinical trials hold great promise for achieving durable suppression of HIV that will revolutionize therapy and offering hope to infected individuals that disease may be controlled without lifelong dependence on antiretroviral medications.

Video abstract:

Trial registration: NCT04561258.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / therapy
  • Humans


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents
  • Antiviral Agents

Associated data