I am Luis Montaner at the Wistar Institute and the discussion
today studies to harness innate and adaptive strategies towards an HIV cure.
We can start by reviewing the disease process of
HIV infection itself to know that in the context of acute infection there
is a seeding of HIV virus throughout the body that is
signaled by a very high viral load and a sudden CD4 loss.
The disease process itself,
underlies a period of several years in which there is
a steady-state between the amount of virus and the immune system.
Now, the amount of the HIV reservoir which we're going to discuss in the future,
is thought to be in some respects established in
an individual basis through the dynamics of the immune system and
the viral infection in a steady-state within the
individual where several factors can contribute to the level of viremia
that a person will have which in turn is expected
to reflect the level of the reservoir once therapy is initiated.
Of course, therapy prevents what otherwise would be the rise in viral load with
what would be a decrease in CD4 count followed by opportunistic infections and death.
Now, the objective of therapy is to prevent this outcome.
But the initiation of therapy relative to
this immunological decay is also considered to be a factor
that will affect the level of the reservoir that
one would retain after the initiation of therapy.