José Carlos Couto-Fernandez
Institution: Oswaldo Cruz Foundation/FIOCRUZ-Brazilian Ministry of Health/MS
Country of work: Brazil
What is your motivation for engaging in HIV cure and remission research?
Despite all of the clinical benefits provided by combined antiretroviral therapy over the years, it is not able alone to eradicate the virus, which persists in the reservoirs. In my point of view, the development of a cure for HIV requires a combination of innovative clinical interventions and new monitoring techniques, as well as the collaboration of multidisciplinary research sectors and the HIV infected individuals. The promise of a cure is too exciting and has the potential to positively impact the health, as well as affording closer contact with prominent researchers, hopefully leading to new collaborations.
What is your current area of research?
I am senior researcher of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation/FIOCRUZ, coordinator of WHO HIVResNet in the Laboratory of AIDS and Molecular Immunology/IOC. I am conducting projects on HIV-1 molecular diversity, genotyping of drug resistance and immunological evaluations of HIV-1 controllers, contributing to the multifactorial analysis of the immune response to distinct viral genetic backgrounds in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Network of HIV Cure initiative should contribute to the improvement of our current scientific activities, as support for the control of HIV-1 infection, wellbeing of many infected people and reduce the global economic impact of lifelong treatment.