amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

The Search for a Cure: An Enduring Commitment


amfAR’s new Research Consortium on HIV Eradication (ARCHE) is the Foundation’s latest effort in a long history of support for research towards finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Since as early as 2002, amfAR has invested more than $4.6 million in a diverse portfolio of more than 40 cure-focused projects. Areas of study include:

Characterizing viral reservoirs and latency—Understanding HIV dormancy, whereby the virus lies latent beyond the reach of anti-HIV drugs, is considered to be a crucial first step toward a cure. How and where do HIV reservoirs survive?

Potential and limitations of antiretroviral therapy—Can currently available therapy reduce levels of virus to bring a cure within reach? Do different classes of drugs exert beneficial effects beyond lowering viral load?

Acute infection—How do the first days or weeks of infection determine the disease course and the establishment of viral reservoirs that prevent our ability to cure infection?

Clinical cohorts—What can we learn from those rare patients who are able to keep their HIV at low levels without using antiretroviral therapy?

Immune activation—What is the role of immune activation in HIV disease and in maintaining viral reservoirs?

Gene therapy—Can findings in this newly emerging field be applied to curing HIV infection?

Sanctuary sites—Are there regions of the body that are particularly adept at harboring HIV beyond the reach of the immune system or antiretroviral therapy?

Animal models—What can we learn from viral infections in other animals about the nature of HIV persistence in humans?