An important benchmark in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection management is the elimination of virus from the infected individual. However, complete viral clearance is not achieved through any of the currently available treatment options. Nonetheless, combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) provides a âfunctional cureâ and decreases viral loads to below detection in blood plasma in many patients. Unfortunately, HIV persists in reservoir sites such as resting T-cells in lymph nodes and microglia/macrophages in the central nervous system (CNS). Potential reactivation of latent virus from these reservoir sites prevents achieving a sterilizing cure
Viral reactivation from the resting T-cell population are often described as âblipsâ in HIV-infected individuals undergoing cART, while routinely maintaining viral loads to below detection levels (HIV RNA>50 copies/mL by standard assays). Such viral resurgence is attributed in part, to immune activation often resulting from onset of opportunistic infections thereby accelerating disease progression.
Last date updated on September, 2014