Post-treatment control: a functional cure for HIV
Thornhill J., Frater J., Fidler S.
Controlled plasma viral load to levels below limits of detection off antiretroviral therapy (ART), referred to as a functional cure, or remission, is an aspiration for people living with HIV avoiding the need for daily ART while preserving immunological function. For the majority of people, stopping suppressive ART is associated with virological rebound. Spontaneous viral control is reported among rare individuals in the absence of ART. More recently, strategic use of transient ART, initiated close to the time of HIV acquisition, has been associated with a phenotype of viral control after stopping therapy termed post-treatment control. We explore the phenotype of post-treatment viral control, potential underlying mechanisms, and how this area of research can inform HIV cure research.