The last edition of the "International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs and Eradication Strategies" took place in St Maarten, December 6-9, 2011. It is now time for the 210 participants to translate into their personal research what they have learned from this meeting.
December 30, 2011 - Toulon, France - The workshop allowed to understand better fundamental mechanisms
of viral persistence and virus-host interactions, and to envision future therapeutic strategies targeting HIV reservoirs. There are
technological limitations to detecting HIV-infected resting memory CD4+ T-cells including: the huge volumes of blood needed by
culture assay, the measure of defective viruses by PCR-based assays, and the lack of animal models. Additionally, recent
studies indicate that two normal physiological processes involved in the maintenance of immunological memory, T-cell
survival and homeostatic proliferation, likely contribute to the persistence of latently infected memory
CD4 T-cells. In light of this evidence, researchers would like to find ways to recognize latently
infected cells, activate them, leading to cell death or clearance by the immune system.
Efforts are also ongoing to identify other cell populations than CD4+ T lymphocytes containing latent virus.
To design a cure for HIV infection, different or complementary approaches are needed to target residual virus in ART-treated
patients. Some of them are already under testing, like vorinostat, of will be soon proposed for clinical trials, like anti-PD1
Finally, it is already shared by the scientific community that therapeutic approaches towards an HIV cure should be combinations
of drugs to suppress inflammation, anti-PD1, chemokine antagonists, etc.
The 210 participants at the "International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs and Eradication Strategies" discussed all
these aspects in-depth. They were basic scientists, clinical researchers, firms' representatives, and patients' advocates, all
highly involved in the search of an HIV cure.
About the workshop: the "5th International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & Eradication Strategies" was held
at the Westin St Maarten Hotel, Philipsburg, December 6-9, 2011. It is a closed meeting where participants are selected for their
commitment in HIV persistence research. Website: http://www.informedhorizons.com/persistence2011
1208 Avenue Colonel Picot
83056 Toulon, Var, France