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Clinical Aspects

Alain Lafeuillade
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New anti-HIV Gene Therapy Trials Launched – Testing Moves Forward

Posted on Thursday, 19 January 2012 in Clinical Aspects

New anti-HIV gene therapy trials launched is the recent news regarding a promising potential treatment for HIV. This new round of trials is the Phase 2 clinical round after this treatment passed Phase 1. Two new phase 2 clinical studies are now being launched, according to the maker of the treatment, Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. These new trials are entitled SB-728-1101 and SB-728-902, Cohort 5. The plan is for this treatment to pan out as a functional cure for HIV/AIDS. The research process is ongoing.

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Alain Lafeuillade
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Designing New Approaches to Cure HIV Infection

Posted on Saturday, 31 December 2011 in Clinical Aspects

Several new approaches are ready to be tested to try to reach an HIV cure, at least a functional one where life-long ART is no longer necessary.

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Alain Lafeuillade
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Anti-HIV Therapy is Suboptimal in Lymphoid Tissues

Posted on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 in Clinical Aspects

Professor Mario Stevenson (Miami, USA) has some interesting news to bring to the HIV research community at large. In a recent interview conducted at the 5th International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs and Eradication Strategies, Stevenson claimed that all anti-retroviral therapies are not effective against HIV hiding in lymphoid tissues. HIV replicates the most in lymphatic tissue and resides in these same tissues to create HIV reservoirs, and in a 3-year long collaborative project, Stevenson came to this conclusion.


Here's how the study worked:  A group of HIV-positive patients on antiretroviral therapy were recruited, and lymphoid tissue from the gut and lymph nodes was taken from each person. The question is:  Does the HIV respond to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in lymphoid tissue the same way that it does in the blood?  While one or two antiretroviral medications indeed reach the tissue in the same concentrations that it does in the blood, others were shown to be relatively ineffective.  Therefore, Stevenson claims, "In tissue, it's not combination therapy.  It's mono-therapy or dual therapy."  So, how is the virus responding to ART within tissue?


For those who are on ART, the viral level in the blood is drastically reduced, and becomes undetectable within a month.  However, in some patients, there are actually higher levels of virus hiding in the lymphoid tissues—evidence that construction of HIV reservoirs has occurred.  Therefore, the response is different in the tissues than it is in the blood. "What this suggests is that the tissues provide a sanctuary—a pharmacologic sanctuary—that allows the virus to exploit those suboptimal concentrations to infect cells," Stevenson says. ART isn't shutting down virus infection completely—episodic infections are still occurring, and Stevenson claims that the reservoir can be replenished by the new infections made by the suboptimal concentrations.


Why is there such a discrepancy? There are possibilities. For example, in HIV-suppressed patients, the viral replications are continuing, but they're happening in very slow, small quantities, and at a low level. Or, there is a chronic virus source somewhere in the body—even while the virus is suppressed. These sources are infecting new cells; however, the newly-infected cells aren't then progressing to infect cells themselves. The goal is to identify where these sources are, and whether or not these tissue reservoirs are developing resistance to ART. Based on these findings, there is still a ways to go to achieve a cure for HIV.

Researchers are working hard toward HIV eradication, but there is more work to be done.

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Alain Lafeuillade
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The “Berlin Patient” as a Proof of Concept for an HIV Cure

Posted on Saturday, 06 August 2011 in Clinical Aspects

Last December, Doctors from Germany published the first documented case of a HIV infection cure. Although it occurred in a very special situation -and will not be reproducible at a large scale- it is the first breakthrough toward an HIV cure. We have got an interview of this patient and we discuss the global implications of this unique case.

The “Berlin Patient” as a Proof of Concept for an HIV Cure

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Alain Lafeuillade
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Fresh Air for HIV Cure Research

Posted on Saturday, 23 July 2011 in Clinical Aspects

Fresh money recently poured in HIV Cure Research.

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Alain Lafeuillade
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HAART at Acute HIV Infection

Posted on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 in Clinical Aspects

Do not miss this interview

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