Working Group on HIV Reservoirs and Strategies to Control Them 

by Star One Public Relations Thursday, February 03, 2011
The existence of HIV reservoirs explains why an HIV cure is not yet available. Since 2003, a group of renowned researchers organize a cutting edge workshop in this topic. They have now launched a scientific web portal to encourage sharing of data.

Toulon, France, February 03, 2011 -- There are now many effective treatments against HIV. No longer is it a life sentence, promising to lead to the development of AIDS, and bring on a series of opportunistic infections that ultimately overwhelm the person's weakened immune system and results in their death.

Instead it is a manageable condition, one whose sufferers can still expect to live with into their sixties-but only as long as they are able to get early access to the right treatments. These treatments can reduce the amount of the virus in the body, as well as helping the immune system to recover normal functions, and help the person to remain healthy.

Unfortunately the treatments for HIV are only able to manage the disease, they cannot and will not cure it, no matter how long and how well the patient follows their course of treatment. This is because the virus is able to stay in what is known as HIV reservoirs. These are areas of the body that become infected and that the drug treatments are unable to rid the virus from. Currently it is not known why these reservoirs persist, but it is clear that efforts to find a cure would be wise to focus on this area.

It is because of the HIV reservoir effect that there is currently no cure for HIV. Instead treatment must be followed for the rest of the patient's life, because even though the anti-retroviral drugs will ‘clear’ the virus from the rest of the body, it remains dormant in the reservoir. The reservoir inevitably reinfects the whole body, each time therapy is stopped or compliance less strict.

The other major problems with current HIV treatments are the cost. Simply put, the cost of treatment can cripple a person, and that cost will have to be paid as long as they live. Some governments are working to make treatments more accessible for people, but for more than two thirds of the world's HIV sufferers, treatment is simply not possible because they cannot afford it. What these people, in fact all sufferers of HIV need, is a lifelong cure from the virus and whilst the search continues for an HIV cure, people continue to die around the world because of a lack of treatment. The cure needs to urgently be found.

The HIV reservoir workshop was created in 2003 as a forum for scientists from around the world who are involved in HIV treatment research to come together. It is a meeting place every two years for professionals in the field to meet and discuss the latest research, and hear the latest research papers and theories presented. With a varied program of topics and talks, the aim is for the sharing and exchange of information that may ultimately help lead to a cure.

This biennial reference workshop is not intended to provide public education, but is a venue for professionals who are working in the field of HIV research, including doctors, pharmaceutical researchers, biologists, treatment and policy makers who wish to work together to find a cure.

About us:
Doctor Alain Lafeuillade is Chairman of the “International Workshop on HIV Persistence, HIV Reservoirs and Eradication Strategies”. AVPS, 1208 avenue Colonel Picot, 83056 Toulon, France. Ph: 33-4-94616340. Web site: http://www.hiv-reservoir.net

Contact:
Alain Lafeuillade
AVPS
1208 avenue Colonel Picot,
83056 Toulon, France
lafeuillade@orange.fr
33-4-94616340
http://www.hiv-reservoir.net

0    submitted by Star One Public Relations
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