Acute HIV-1 Infection: Translating Pathogenesis into Opportunity

Eric Rosenberg
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School

Since the advent of highly active antiviral therapy (ARV), there has been a dramatic decline in AIDS related illness and death. Although therapy has transformed infection with HIV from a terminal illness to a chronic disease, the prospect of taking antiretroviral therapy for life is difficult for some and impossible for most. Therefore, alternative strategies to augment host immune responses to control viral replication and disease activity must be investigated. One of the limiting factors in studying HIV/AIDS infection is that current methods for designing and implementing clinical trials are often based on expert opinion and "clinical intuition" and these approaches typical fail to deliver clinically relevant answers. Our hypothesis is that the design of clinical trials could be optimized through the integration of biology with mathematical and statistical modeling. The goal of this lecture will be to provide a "primer" for understanding the biological, immunologic and virologic issues of HIV infection followed by an explanation of our current modeling efforts. The human immune response is highly successful at controlling invasion by many microbes. However, in the case of HIV infection the immune response is considered Ć¢partially effectiveĆ¢ at best. During this lecture I will shed insight into the different mechanisms responsible for controlling HIV replication and to discuss possible opportunities to translate what we know about viral pathogenesis into opportunities for treatment. Specifically, we will focus on the setting of "Acute HIV infection" as a biological system which has the potential to be exploited.

Back to the program