Cure research: Non-invasive measurement of HIV reservoirs

Several therapeutic strategies are being tested to develop an HIV cure. Stable reservoirs of persistently HIV-infected cells in blood and different anatomical sites remain the main challenge to an effective cure. These reservoirs may persist despite cure interventions.   

Reducing the size of the HIV reservoirs to a point where virologic control can be achieved without treatment is a goal of many cure strategies. Therefore, measuring the size of these reservoirs is an essential component of cure research and has been identified as a research priority in the 2021 IAS HIV Cure Global Scientific Strategy.  

Two strategic recommendations concern the development of modalities to quantify the size, distribution and activity of the reservoir in cells and tissues and the harmonization of assays across laboratories.  

Several approaches have been developed to measure HIV reservoirs. This workshop focused on the much-needed non-invasive techniques and surrogate markers that could detect and quantify HIV reservoirs in a range of cells and tissues beyond blood and that can be used in resource-limited settings where HIV cure research is increasingly being conducted.  

The identification of such markers could also accelerate the development of an HIV cure by providing mechanistic insights, potentially leading to the development of new therapeutic approaches, and providing an alternative to, or complementing, analytic treatment interruption (ATI) and viral load measurements commonly used in cure research.  

This workshop brought together Industry Collaboration Group members, representatives from the industry, clinicians and trial participants to discuss innovative non-invasive technologies for the measurement of HIV reservoirs in low-and middle-income countries. 

19 October 2022
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Timothy Henrich

University of California San Francisco

Bonnie Howell



Nicolas Chomont

Associate research professor in the Department of Microbiology, Infectiology and Immunology

Université de Montréal

HIV reservoir measurement

Jonathan Li

Harvard University

Predictors of viral rebound

Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen

The Wistar Institute

Non-invasive assays for HIV reservoir measurement

Mathias Lichterfeld

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard

Single cell analysis technologies and assays

Sarah Palmer

University of Sydney

Viral sequencing

Timothy Henrich

University of California San Francisco

Flash talk: Whole body imaging

James McMahon

Infectious diseases physician and HIV researcher

The Alfred Hospital and Monash Medical Centre

Flash talk: Whole body imaging

Zaza Ndhlovu

University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Claire Deleage, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Flash talk: Imaging

Claire Deleage

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, USA

Flask talks: Imaging