Global Fellows Research Academy

Boris Kevin Tchounga

Nationality: Cameroon
Institution: PACCI Research Center
Country of work: Côte d'Ivoire

What is your motivation for engaging in HIV cure and remission research?

After my PhD program dealing with epidemiology and treatment of HIV-2 infection, many questions arose on the possibility to end the HIV-2 epidemic, and the possibility to treat definitely people living with this virus. The antiretroviral therapy for HIV-2 infected patients is still challenging because there are no second line ART regimen for these patients in the context of high rate resistance mutations to protease inhibitors. This is why I am engaging in HIV cure and remission research.

What is your current area of research?

I am working specifically on HIV-2 infection, a model of attenuated viral infection, characterized by a slow disease progression and leading however to AIDS. I am the project manager of the WADA HIV-2 cohort and country project coordinator of the FIT-2 trial, two research project with a biobank to address questions of HIV-2 reservoir as well as immunologic and inflammatory biomarkers. I am currently exploring the role of immune activation and inflammatory biomarkers in the pathogenicity of HIV-2 among long term non progressors and elite controllers. This could help understanding the mechanism leading to the natural control of HIV-2 by these patients.