2010 Towards an HIV Cure Workshop: HIV Reservoirs and Strategies to Control Them


In 2010, the International AIDS Society (IAS), with the support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the French Agence Nationale de Rechereche sur le SIDA et les hépatitis virales (ANRS), the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Reserach, Sidaction and the Treatment Action Group (TAG), organized a workshop on HIV Reservoirs in conjunction with the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna, Austria. The workshop, chaired by 2008 Nobel Laureate for Medicine and IAS President Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, was designed to increase the focus of basice science at the AIDS 2010 conference.

The workshop focused on the topic of HIV reservoirs and strategies to control them and was followed by translational sessions at AIDS 2010 that reported back on the discussions held at the workshop.

Scientific research has led to remarkable discoveries in the quarter century since HIV was first discovered. Today, individuals living with HIV can expect to live a relatively normal lifespan if they are diagnosed and treated early enough and are able to access and adhere to potent antiretroviral drug regimens. A deadly disease has been transformed into a chronic manageable condition, largely due to the efforts of basic scientists.

The strategies currently being investigated to control HIV reservoirs may hold the key to a cure for HIV disease in the future. It is widely known that current antiretroviral drugs cannot completely eradicate the virus from the body because HIV remains in some cells in a non-replicating stage called latent infection. The persistence of latent HIV reservoirs in different compartments of the body is one of the main barriers to the eradication of HIV infection.


  • To promote state-of-the-art research on HIV transmission, pathogenesis and disease progression.
  • To attract the world’s leading basic scientists including senior, mid-career and junior scientists; a small number of clinical researchers and selected editors of scientific journals to come together at a global experts’ meeting, and discuss the advances and direction of basic HIV research – focusing on HIV reservoirs and strategies to control them.
  • To explore the road ‘towards a cure’, highlight implications and potential for translation of cutting edge research on HIV reservoirs for clinical research, drug development, public health and other applications – and contribute to defining research priorities in HIV prevention, treatment and care.
  • To increase interactions between basic scientists and other stakeholders in the HIV response by creating incentives for basic scientists to participate in the International AIDS Conference and creating incentives for the wider HIV/AIDS community to engage in basic science.

Themes of the workshop; presentations & abstracts

The workshop was articulated around an opening keynote, 5 thematic sessions that included invited and abstract presentations, a closing keynote and a poster exhibition. The themes of the workshop sessions were (click on the theme to see presentations and abstracts):

Day 1 - 16 July 2010
  • The clinical implications of HIV persistence during therapy
  • Where and what are viral reservoirs? HIV-1 Reservoirs and Sanctuary Sites
  • What are the mechanisms of HIV persistence?
Day 2 - 17 July 2010
  • What is the role of the immune system in HIV persistence?
  • What host factors are at play in HIV persistence?
  • What are potential therapeutic interventions and how to evaluate them?
  • Eradication versus remission: is eradication possible?

Links to AIDS 2010

The workshop was closely linked to the AIDS 2010 conference. Selected Track A and B (basic and clinical sciences) abstracts submitted to the International AIDS Conference and related to the topic of viral reservoirs and strategies to control them were also presented and discussed at the closed workshop (oral presentations and posters), and results from the workshop were shared with the participants attending AIDS 2010. The IAS/ANRS Young Investigator Award on HIV Reservoirs was awarded to a young investigator whose abstract demonstrates innovation, originality, rationale and quality in the field of HIV and AIDS research.

Workshop International Steering Committee

Workshop Programme Committee