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Unique natural and adaptive response mechanisms to control and eradicate HIV infection

Departments of Microbiology & Immunology, Medicine & Pathology, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, SUNY; Chief of Service, Laboratory Medicine, Erie County Medical Center Buffalo, NY, USA

During the more than 35 years since the discovery of HIV as the causative agent of AIDS a preventative and/or therapeutic vaccine has not been achieved in spite of innovative and unique break-through discoveries in the diagnosis, monitoring of disease progression and pharmaceutical advances. In part the inability to cure HIV either through immunologic and/or pharmacologic approaches is a result of distinctive features of HIV-1 pathogens—the capability to persist in cryptic tissue reservoirs. Recent immunologic discoveries may lead to eradication of this virus. The recognition of adaptive immunologic approaches has led to the development of unique genome editing tools in the form of artificial nucleases that can and have been applied to the editing of selected HIV-1 genomic sequences. This review addresses recent developments in immuno-pharmacologic approaches in the form of inducing reversal agents, latency activation and gene editing which exemplify ongoing unique and imaginative efforts of investigators to achieve a “cure” for HIV/AIDS. The several strategies for the control and treatment of HIV with the aim of eradication of the virus from all tissue reservoirs are discussed.
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