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HIV

Since the initial isolation of HIV more than 30 years ago, research has elucidated the viral life cycle, how HIV interacts with its host and the mechanisms of pathogenesis. Alongside these seminal discoveries, anti-retroviral drugs and additional treatment options have been developed that aim to prevent and cure HIV infection. Despite this progress, the AIDS pandemic is still ongoing; approximately 37 million people are infected with HIV worldwide, and infection remains incurable. With this collection, we hope to bring renewed attention to the latest developments in HIV research and how they are affecting efforts towards prevention, treatment and cure. 

The collection combines Reviews and Research articles recently published across several Nature journals. It also includes links to additional content, such as recent News articles and previous Special Focuses on HIV. Finally, you can find information on the Nature webinar that marks the 2015 World AIDS Day: “Eliminating HIV: bringing together prevention, treatment and cure”, featuring Steven Deeks (UCSF), Susan Buchbinder (UCSF) and Robert Siliciano (Johns Hopkins).

The content of this collection has been chosen by the editors of Nature Reviews Microbiology.

 

 

Eliminating HIV: bringing together prevention, treatment and cure

Speakers: Steven Deeks (UCSF), Susan Buchbinder (UCSF) and Robert Siliciano (John Hopkins University)

Date: Tuesday, December 01, 2015, 8AM PST, 11AM EST, 4PM GMT, 5PM CET

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Summary

Approximately 37 million people are living with HIV infection around the world. Since the beginning of the pandemic more than 30 years ago, the scientific and public health communities have conducted an unprecedented amount of research to identify and characterize the virus; have developed anti-retroviral drugs to control viral replication, and prevent the onset of AIDS and treatment options to target latent infection; and have set up numerous campaigns to educate the public on transmission and preventive measures. Despite these advances in controlling transmission, designing treatments and searching for a cure, HIV remains a global health problem. Multidisciplinary approaches are widely seen as the best approach to tackling the problem, combining the expertise of leaders working in these three areas.

In this webinar, Susan Buchbinder outlines the preventive strategies currently in use, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (for high-risk individuals) and post-exposure prophylaxis (for exposed individuals). Next, Steven Deeks explains the mechanisms of action of the available anti-retroviral therapies, and describes how drug resistance is a barrier to cure. Owing to the ability of the virus to integrate into the host genome, another important barrier to cure is the identification and elimination of the latent reservoir of HIV-infected cells. Robert Siliciano describes the different strategies that are currently being tested to eradicate persistent infection, highlighting those that are most likely to make it to the clinic in the near future.

These short presentations will be followed by a live discussion on how these three branches of research intersect and where the field is heading.

Speakers

Susan Buchbinder, M.D., University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Susan Buchbinder is the Director of Bridge HIV at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and Clinical Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Buchbinder has been conducting HIV research for 26 years. Her primary interest is in developing, evaluating, and implementing strategies likely to have the greatest impact in preventing new HIV infections.

Steven Deeks, M.D., University of California, San Francisco

Steven G. Deeks, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine in Residence at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a faculty member in the Positive Health Program (AIDS Program) at San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Deeks has been engaged in HIV research and clinical care since 1993. He is a recognized expert on HIV-associated immune dysfunction and its impact on HIV persistence (the “reservoir”) and health during antiretroviral therapy.

Robert Siliciano M.D., Ph.D, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Robert F. Siliciano is a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Professor of Medicine and Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1995, his laboratory provided the first demonstration that latently infected memory CD4+ T cells were present in patients with HIV-1 infection. He went on to characterize this latent reservoir and to show that latently infected cells persist even in patients on prolonged highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

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