Analytical treatment interruption in HIV positive patients with low viral reservoir to evaluate the potential of a functional cure

  • Florence, Eric (Promotor)
  • Baeten, Elke (Administrator)

Project Details


This project refers to a new therapeutic strategy aiming at identifying suitable individuals where
antiretroviral drugs can be stopped and followed by a control of HIV. The design is original and, to our
knowledge, not yet implemented. The potential of stopping cART is indeed a new emerging question in
HIV cure trials. There is no interest from the side of pharmaceutical companies. Designing interventions
where antiretroviral drugs would be stopped is not a part of their research agenda.
Identifying persons where treatment could safely and successfully be interrupted would mean a major
breakthrough in the history of HIV treatment. This would probably also enable savings on the health
budgets. Moreover, the study will allow to define a threshold for prediction of functional cure in DNA/RNA
based assays and will reveal the role of outgrowth assays in predicting functional cure. This proposal will
allow to perform a prospective state of the art clinical study in the HIV cure field within the Flemish HIV
reference centers. This project will enhance the already available expertise on viral immunology
(ITG,VUB), viral reservoir quantification (UZGent) and viral outgrowth (ITG). Moreover, the UMC St Pieter,
the biggest ARC in Belgium, has established a close collaboration with the laboratory of Carine Van Lint, a
worldwide expert in HIV reservoirs. Finally, it will give Flanders a leading position in HIV cure research on
a direct translational level.
Effective start/end date1/11/1431/10/18


  • Agency for Innovation by Science & Technology: €367,750.77