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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Scientists Reverse HIV and SIV Latency in Two Animal Models

In a range of experiments, scientists have reactivated resting immune cells that were latently infected with HIV or its monkey relative, SIV, in cells in the bloodstream and a variety of tissues in animals. As a result, the cells started making copies of the viruses, which could potentially be neutralized by anti-HIV drugs and the immune system.

This advance, published Jan. 22 in two papers in Nature, marks progress toward a widely accessible cure for HIV.

The new research was conducted by investigators from the Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE) based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and from the Emory Consortium for Innovative AIDS Research in Nonhuman Primates, both funded by NIH.

Scientists from ViiV Healthcare and Qura Therapeutics collaborated on the research. CARE is part of the Martin Delaney Collaboratories for HIV Cure Research, the flagship NIH-supported HIV cure research program. The joint efforts of scientists from a variety of specialties made the new findings possible.

“A simple, safe and scalable cure for HIV is an aspirational goal that, if achieved, would accelerate progress toward ending the HIV pandemic,” said NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci. “These new findings help sustain our cautious optimism that an HIV cure is possible.”

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