Antiviral therapy for HIV infection may dramatically reduce viral load but this does not translate into a cure. An example of this was reported in The Lancet (2014;384:1320)
, describing a baby born to an HIV-infected mother.
The infant received intensive antiretroviral therapy shortly after birth and by six months his viral load was undetectable. At three years of age, treatment was stopped after he tested negative for HIV infection. Within two weeks, his viral load rebounded rapidly and HIV tests became positive.
“Drugs cannot eradicate the virus because they do not eliminate viral reservoirs,” write Mario Clerici from the University of Milan, and colleagues. “The search for an HIV cure continues.”