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Cure-Focused Research Grants Announced by amfAR

By Enid Vázquez

November/December 2012

The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) announced in September the awarding of three new grants to research teams as part of the Foundation's two-year-old amfAR Research Consortium on HIV Eradication (ARCHE).

One of the grants will go to Dr. Timothy Henrich of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston to determine which elements of the "Berlin patient's" treatment were critical to his cure -- findings that may guide attempts at designing a cure that could be applied more widely.

Another ARCHE grant will go to Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga of the University of Massachusetts, who hope to determine if it is possible to cure HIV with antiretroviral therapy (ART) alone in children in whom ART had been started soon after birth and continued for an average of 15 years.

The third grant will fund a study that will continue to investigate using disulfiram -- a drug used to treat alcoholism -- to flush the virus out of latently HIV-infected cells. The study, conducted by Dr. Steven Deeks of the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Julian Elliott of Monash University in Australia, will build on a smaller study that suggested that the drug may reverse HIV latency in some people.

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