Silencing HIV

The latest advances in antiviral medicines may stop the dangerous reemergence of HIV from its dormant state.

Silencing the HIV reservoir: The ‘block and lock’ approach


Wednesday, December 16, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET

Some viruses avoid immune system antiviral attacks by going into deep sleep until the right moment to reemerge. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one of the sneakiest. While anti-retroviral therapy works well to stop the virus, if people with HIV forget to take their medicine, the latent virus awakens and becomes a threat again. Research by Professor Valente suggests it’s possible to block the virus’ ability to reemerge (or wake up), locking it in a long-term dormant state. She is advancing a possible medicine derived from a marine sponge to do just that.

Photo of Susan Valente, PhD

Susana Valente, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Immunology & Microbiology