Scientists Work for a HIV Functional Cure

Tucker, GA - April 12, 2011 -- Researchers have just unveiled the advanced program of the reference workshop on ‘HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & Eradication Strategies’ to be held later this year in Sin Maarten.

Since 2003, a group of scientists from different fields and countries address the issue of why HIV persists in infected individuals despite antiretroviral therapy (ART) and how it could be attacked in its reservoirs to achieve a cure. The biennial Sin Maarten workshop is the top science seminar where they confront their results and plan new research avenues.

Since we launched our first meeting, great strides have been made towards a HIV functional cure” told Alain Lafeuillade, MD, PhD, member of the Steering Committee. Actually, this condition of “functional cure” naturally occurs in 0.15% of HIV-infected patients. These individuals spontaneously control HIV replication at undetectable levels, do not experience immune depletion or disease progression. They exhibit low levels of HIV reservoirs and strong anti-HIV CD8 responses. Researchers would like to mimic this condition to the benefit of more patients. This would be a valuable response to the current problems raised by life-long ART, which are cumulative toxicity, resistance, compliance, premature aging, persistent inflammation and, for the large majority of patients, treatment access and cost.

These researchers constantly work together via lab collaborations and clinical trials, but need a regular event where they can not only discuss but also meet other scientists, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, pharmaceutical companies and patients’ representatives.

The 2011 meeting will cover all the aspects of HIV persistence from animal models to genetics and immunology, and dedicate several sessions to new strategies ready to be tested in humans.

About the HIV Persistence Workshop:
Steering Committee: Mario Stevenson (Miami, USA), Alain Lafeuillade (Toulon, France), Robert Gallo (Baltimore, USA), Jose Gatell (Barcelona, Spain), Christine Rouzioux (Paris, France). Scientific Committee: Jose Alcami (Madrid, Spain), Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (Paris, France), Monsef Benkirane (Montpellier, France), Nicolas Chomont (Port St. Lucie, USA), Tae-Wook Chun (Bethesda, USA), John Coffin (Boston, USA), Ron Ellis (San Diego, USA), Marie-Lise Gougeon (Paris, France), Ashley Haase (Minneapolis, USA), Dean Hamer (Bethesda, USA), Richard Koup (Bethesda, USA), Joep Lange (Amsterdam, Netherlands), David Margolis (Chapel Hill, USA), Mark Wainberg (Montreal, Canada), Simon Wain-Hobson (Paris, France).

Alain Lafeuillade, MD, PhD
Informed Horizons, LLC
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Tucker GA 30084
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