The latest evidence for possible HIV-1 curative strategies

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Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection remains a major health issue worldwide. In developed countries, antiretroviral therapy has extended its reach from treatment of people living with HIV-1 to post-exposure prophylaxis, treatment as prevention, and, more recently, preexposure prophylaxis. These healthcare strategies offer the epidemiological tools to curve the epidemic in rich settings and will be concomitantly implemented in developing countries. One of the remaining challenges is to identify an efficacious curative strategy. This review manuscript will focus on some of the current curative strategies aiming at providing a sterilizing or functional cure to HIV-1-positive individuals. These include the following: early treatment initiation in post-treatment controllers as a long-term HIV-1 remission strategy, latency reversal, gene editing with or without stem cell transplantation, and antibodies against either the viral envelope protein or the host integrin α4β7.

Keywords: antiretroviral, antiretroviral treatment intensification, broadly neutralizing antibodies, CRISPR/Cas9, dolutegravir, HIV-1 infection, HIV-1 latency, HIV-1 persistence, shock and kill.

Citation: Pham HT, Mesplède T. The latest evidence for possible HIV-1 curative strategies. Drugs in Context 2018; 7: 212522. DOI: 10.7573/dic.212522

Disclosure and potential conflicts of interest: The authors have nothing to disclose. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Potential Conflicts of Interests form for the authors are available for download at:

Acknowledgements: This review is dedicated to the memory of Mark Wainberg, our mentor, an outstanding scientist and activist for those living with HIV. Hanh T Pham is the recipient of a CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) Postdoctoral Fellowship 2015–2017.

Funding declaration: No funding or assistance is associated with this manuscript.

Copyright: Copyright © 2018 Pham HT, Mesplède T. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0 which allows anyone to copy, distribute, and transmit the article provided it is properly attributed in the manner specified below. No commercial use without permission.

Correct attribution: Copyright © 2018 Pham HT, Mesplède T. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0.

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Correspondence: Thibault Mesplède, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Provenance: invited; externally peer reviewed.

Submitted: 8 December 2017; Peer review comments to author: 9 January 2018; Revised manuscript received: 25 January 2018; Accepted: 26 January 2018; Publication date: 21 February 2018.

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