Mechanisms of HIV disease limitation and cure revealed in paediatric infection


  • Prof Philip Goulder

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Professor Goulder aims to address the research question of whether a cure can be achieved in an HIV-infected individual. Professor Goulder's lab has identified three groups of children in whom it believes a cure is most likely to arise. These studies are linked by the hypothesis that a cure is possible where there are obstacles to HIV establishing a latent reservoir in long-lived resting T cells. The first group in the study is HIV-infected newborns in whom antiretroviral therapy (ART) is initiated at birth. The second group is HIV-infected children in whom ART was initiated in infancy, now leaving no trace of infection or HIV antibody response. The third group is HIV-infected children over five years old who are entirely healthy and indistinguishable from HIV-uninfected age-matched children, except for high levels of HIV in their blood. This group is key to understanding how disease from HIV can be avoided – and, despite their high levels of HIV, these children may also have cure potential.