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HIV Life Cycle
Viral Latency

Although HIV replicates extensively throughout all stages of infection (1-2), latently infected cells do exist (3) and if viral eradication is to be achieved it is essential to develop agents to target these cells. The advent of potent anti-viral therapy has demonstrated that the vast majority of HIV viral production is due to newly infected cells and not the activation of latently infected cells (1-2).

Although there may still be important therapeutic roles for compounds capable of inducing viral latency (4), potent anti-HIV therapies have raised the prospect of viral eradication, a goal inconsistent with the induction of viral latency. Since HIV expression in nearly all primary cells appears to be cytopathic, compounds capable of inducing viral activation or preventing latency combined with potent anti-HIV therapies may represent a strategy capable of eradicating HIV.


  1. WEI, X; GHOSH, S.K.; TAYLOR, M.E.; JOHNSON, V.A.; EMINI ,E.A.; DEUTSCH, P.; LIFSON, J.D.; BONHOEFFER, J.D. NOWAK, M.A.; HAHN, B.H.; ET AL. Viral dynamics in human immunodeficiency virus type i infection. NATURE 373:117-122 (1995).
  2. HO, D.D.; NEUMANN A.U.; PERELSON A.S.; CHEN, W.; LEONARD J.M.; MARKOWITZ M., Rapid turnover of plasma virions and cd4 lymphocytes in hiv-1 infection. NATURE 373:123-126 (1995).
  3. LI X.D.; MOORE B.; CLOYD M.W., Gradual shutdown of virus production resulting in latency is the norm during the chronic phase of human immunodeficiency virus replication and differential rates and mechanisms of shutdown are determined by viral sequences. VIROLOGY 225(1):196-212 (1996).
  4. BUTERA S.T.; FOLKS T.M., Application of latent hiv-1 infected cellular models to therapeutic intervention. AIDS RES HUMRETROVIRUSES 8:991-999 (1992).


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