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Second European Round Table on the Future Management of HIV: 10-11 October 2014, Barcelona, Spain.

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The Second European Round Table on the Future Management of HIV took place in Barcelona, 10-11 October 2014 and focused on the HIV-1 reservoir, strategies for HIV cure and primary HIV infection (PHI). Important issues in the HIV-1 reservoir research field are the validity of reservoir measurement techniques and the potential of new drugs to target latently infected cells. Current HIV-1 cure concepts are based on theoretical assumptions of biologically plausible mechanisms, supported by several clinical observations. Three main potential strategies are under investigation in order to achieve a sterilising cure or maintain HIV-1 remission: latency reversal resulting in antigen expression and viral cytolysis or immune targeted cell-death; immunological control of the reservoir; or replacement of the complete autologous haematopoietic and lymphoid stem-cell repertoire by transplantation. An interesting opportunity for restricting the size of the reservoir entails the early initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) during PHI. In terms of the reservoir, early treatment limits its size, alters its composition, and restricts the genetic variability of integrated proviral HIV-1 DNA. The challenges ahead involve the identification of patients undergoing seroconversion to HIV-1 and the prompt initiation of treatment. How the seemingly beneficial impact of early treatment will make cure more feasible, and whether the positive effects of the cure efforts outweigh the potentially negative impact of life-long ART, are important aspects of future collaborative research prospects.

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