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NIH expands investment in HIV cure research

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NIH has awarded approximately $30 million in annual funding over the next 5 years to six research collaborations working to advance basic medical science toward an HIV cure. The awards are a part of President Barack Obama's pledge to invest in HIV cure research.

NIH has awarded approximately $30 million in annual funding over the next 5 years to six research collaborations working to advance basic medical science toward an HIV cure. The awards are a part of President Barack Obama's pledge to invest in HIV cure research. While advances in antiretroviral therapy (ART) have transformed HIV infection from a life-threatening disease to a manageable, chronic condition, a cure remains elusive. A cure has remained elusive in large part because HIV has the ability to establish a reservoir in the body by inserting its genetic material into that of immune cells that have a long lifespan. The virus remains in these cells in a latent state, invisible to the immune system and to anti-HIV therapies. ART only targets HIV when it is actively replicating, so the treatment can never clear the cells containing the latent, non-replicating virus from an infected individual's blood and tissues. The new projects will launch novel investigations into HIV cure strategies that include immunotherapy, therapeutic vaccines, and gene modification. The awardees will utilize a variety of experimental techniques to draw HIV out of its reservoir and eliminate the virus. These strategies include testing latency-reversing agents alone and in combination, genetically engineering immune cells to better target latently infected cells, and optimizing combinations of anti-HIV antibodies and other immunotherapeutic drugs.

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https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-expands-investment-hiv-cure-research

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