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Scientific Strategy Towards HIV Reservoirs Cure The Fifth 'International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & Eradication S trategies

' will be held from December 6-9, 2011, in St. Martin, West Indies. The topics explored are geared towards an understanding both of the mechanisms invo lved in HIV persistence in its reservoirs, and the possibilities of finding new strategies to use in order to eradicate HIV from infected hosts. The preliminary program is now online.

Toulon, France, April 05, 2011 -- Despite effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) , HIV persists in viral reservoirs and anatomic sanctuaries in a â dormantâ or latent st te. Consequently, ART has to be taken life-long, implying problems of compliance , resistance, toxicity, cost, and each time it is interrupted, the infection rek indles. Furthermore, most infected individuals live in poor-resource countries w here less than 40 percent of patients have access to these therapies. Finally, i n the absence of a preventive vaccine, more than 33 million individuals are infe cted worldwide with 7,000 daily new cases. It is therefore urgency to increase our scientific understanding of the mechanis ms allowing HIV persistence and test new strategies for a cure, either sterilizi ng or functional. This is the objective a group of scientists tackled since 2003 when they founded the first edition of the â International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & E radication Strategiesâ . This group contains international researchers and clinicians such as Doctors Alain Lafeuillade (Toulon, France), Mario Stevenson (Miami, USA ), Robert Gallo (Baltimore, USA), Jose Gatell (Barcelona, Spain), David Margolis (Chapel Hill, USA), Tae-Wook Chun (Bethesda, USA), Nicolas Chomont (Port St. Lu cie, USA), Monsef Benkirane (Montpellier, France), Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (Par is, France, 2008 Nobel Price) and others. This steering group has just unveiled the preliminary program of the 5th edition of their workshop, to be held this December in Saint Martin (West Indies). This one contains basic sessions on animal models of HIV persistence, virology, immu nology, and two sessions on eradication strategies including gene therapy. Sever al speakers are already scheduled, from the US, Europe, and Australia, and the p rogram will be complemented in the forthcoming months by selected abstracts from participants. The workshop objectives are to bring together basic scientists and clinicians, p resent and discuss unpublished data, define future scientific priorities and inc rease the global commitment towards an HIV cure. It has already received support from Abbott Virology, Boehringer Ingelheim, Gilead, Janssen, ViiV Healthcare an d the ANRS (French Agency for AIDS Research). Contact: Alain Lafeuillade, MD, General Hospital, Toulon, France; Ph: +33-4-9461 6340; Fax: +33-4-94616341 ; email : lafeuillade@orange.fr; Website : http://www. hiv-workshop.com/workshop-2011.htm Contact: Alain Lafeuillade Hiv-Workshop General Hospital Toulon, France 33-4-94616340 lafeuillade@orange.fr http://www.hiv-workshop.com/workshop-2011.htm