Is a cure for AIDS within reach?

The difficulty in dealing once and for all with HIV is that, unlike other viruses, HIV-infected cells are able to “hide” by entering a resting phase that makes them invisible to our immune system and current treatment therapies.

These ‘latently infected’ cells then exist in reservoirs in the bodies of those with the virus, and can launch new, resistant attacks if treatment is discontinued.

Over the last few years, scientists have determined that destroying this last reservoir of cells will be the future of a cure.

“People have been looking into latency long before this became a focus for a cure,” said Dr Jonathan Angel, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.