Our Research Roadmap
amfAR has created a series of five short animated films in an effort to explain the significance of the reservoirs and the challenges involved in locating and depleting them.
Today the scientific community has a good understanding of what the principal barrier is to a cure—reservoirs, or pockets, of virus that remain in a person even after they have reached a so-called “undetectable” level of HIV as a result of antiretroviral therapy.
It is now generally agreed that there are four key questions—all related to these reservoirs of virus—that need to be answered in order to achieve a cure. Knowing what the questions are means we can direct teams of researchers to try and find answers to them.
Where in the body, and in which types of cells, are these viral reservoirs located? We need to chart the location of the reservoirs so that we can focus our therapies and ensure they reach the right places.
How are these pockets of virus formed and sustained? Understanding these processes will help us figure out how to undermine or reverse them.
Exactly how much virus remains in these reservoirs? We must be able to accurately record how much virus is left so that we can test the effectiveness of our interventions.
How can we safely eliminate the virus? If we can achieve this, we’ll have a cure.