- Category: Search for a Cure
- Published on Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00
- Written by Gregory Fowler
Investigators presented a selection of the latest HIV cure research at an oral session and press conference at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) on July 26.
"Today might be considered the day when the cure research agenda moves form the basic science lab into the clinic," said Steven Deeks, co-chair (with Francois Barre-Sinoussi) of the International AIDS Society's Towards an HIV Cure working group.
[International AIDS Society Towards an HIV Cure press conference, 7/26/12]
David Margolis reported findings on using the cancer drug vorinostat to activate latent HIV in resting cells. Daniel Kuritzkes discussed 2 patients who received bone marrow stem cell transplants while staying on antiretroviral therapy. Asier Saez-Ciron described the Visconti cohort, a group of patients in France who started antiretroviral treatment very early and have maintained undetectable viral loads off treatment.
Asked when a cure might be expected, Deeks offered a sobering but realistic perspective: "The barriers to a cure are far greater than barriers to antiretroviral therapy [in the late 1980s]," he said. "I think we will discover a bunch of hits, none will be curative alone, and eventually they'll move into combination therapy. Unless we get very lucky this is going to take well over a decade."