HIV Cure Updates and Opportunities

March 13, 2024

Last week’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Denver, Colorado, was full of new research, provocative discussion and debate on a wide range of issues from longer-acting injectable PrEP; the dapvirine vaginal ring (DVR) in pregnancy; doxycycline as post-exposure prophylaxis (DoxyPEP) to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and so much more. Check out our daily summaries of highlights from CROI and recordings and resources from the daily Community Breakfast Club sessions

It was also the setting for important updates on the HIV reservoir lending to new insights into potential HIV cure strategies. Progress in HIV cure research, as part of a pipeline of biomedical tools to help end the epidemic, must be supported and guided by an advocacy agenda that puts communities first. Read on for cure highlights from CROI, new opportunities for cure advocates, and an upcoming webinar on pediatric cure research with Deborah Persaud and Gabriela Cromhout.

Cure Highlights from CROI – Q&A with AVAC’s Jessica Salzwedel

AVAC’s Jessica Salzwedel who leads our advocacy for HIV cure research and serves as the community engagement coordinator for Research Enterprise to Advance a Cure for HIV (REACH), Immunotherapy for Cure (I4C), and Pediatric Adolescent Virus Elimination (PAVE) shares her highlights from the research presented at CROI and insights into what it means for advocacy in this Q&A.

Read the Q&A

“Four preclinical and clinical results stood out because they advanced how researchers might tailor cure strategies to optimize the impact for people with HIV. We heard more about the potential role of sex hormones in directing the immune system in a study looking at fetus acquisition of HIV. Another study showed that women may be better candidates for the so-called “block and lock” strategy. We also heard results from the IMPAACT P1115 trial, which showed that early HIV treatment can lead to control of the virus in children. And a nonhuman primate study of adeno-associated virus (AAV), which delivered broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) may offer a pathway to a scalable, durable control option for pediatric cure. In basic science new data suggests that autologous neutralizing antibodies in some people delay rebound. And finally, we heard about rare T-cells that seem to resist killing, which could be important in developing strategies that could lead to durable control and eradication of HIV. ” Read the Q&A to see what it all means.  

Join Us for the 2024 Cure Academy

The Advocacy-for-Cure Academy, organized in partnership with the International AIDS Society, awards fellowships to advocates or peer educators to take part in workshops on HIV cure advocacy with international experts. The academy develops fellows’ cure research literacy and reinforces their advocacy and engagement skills in line with recommendations from Research priorities for an HIV cure: International AIDS Society Global Scientific Strategy 2021Applications are now open. Deadline Monday, 25 March 2024. The next Cure Academy runs June 8 – 10, 2024 in eastern Africa. 

And check out what five alumni from the program are doing with their fellowships intended to create solutions that advance HIV cure research in their local context. 


Updates on Pediatric HIV Cure Research From CROI

Thursday, March 2, 10:00-11:30 am EST

Researchers Deborah Persaud and Gabriele Cromhout join AVAC’s Jessica Salzwedel to discuss the latest from CROI on pediatric cure.