Should HIV Cure Research, Inspired by Advances in Fighting Cancer, Aim for Remission Not Eradication?

September 22, 2016


Shock and Kill

"Shock and Kill"

One of the central problems with HIV, as with cancer, is that it takes only one renegade cell for the disease to come roaring back. In HIV cure research, "shock and kill" has been the main thrust. Shock and kill is a two-phased treatment concept in which patients are first given a drug to revive all dormant HIV cells hiding in reservoirs, then given immunotherapy to encourage their immune systems to kill those cells.

Yet, it's extremely difficult to completely eradicate the HIV reservoir, Dr. Deeks said. Instead, HIV researchers should learn from oncologists, who have realized that even if every single cancer cell cannot be found and eliminated, therapeutic vaccines work much better if the amount of cancer is reduced. Similarly, shock and kill approaches could improve the health of people living with HIV by dramatically reducing (rather than completely eliminating) the HIV reservoir, Dr. Deeks said.

Credit: Evgeny Sergeev for iStock via Thinkstock.

This article was provided by
See Also
With HIV Cure Research on the Horizon, Exploring Ethical Questions in Advance
Can Cancer Treatments Pave the Way to a Cure for HIV?
The Current State of HIV Cure Research: An Interview With Carl Dieffenbach
No Proof of New HIV Cure, Despite Headlines -- Here's What We Know
The Only Cases of HIV Cure or Remission
Beyond the Berlin Patient: How Researchers Are Now Trying to Cure More HIV-Positive People (Video)
What Would an HIV Cure Mean for You?

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining: