HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment (AL Landay, Section Editor)

Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1-10

First online:

Are Infants Unique in Their Ability to be “Functionally Cured” of HIV-1?

  • Nicole H. TobinAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • , Grace M. AldrovandiAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, The Saban Research Institute, University of Southern California Email author 

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The recent report of an infant that appears to have achieved a “functional cure” of HIV-1 following receipt of antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 30 hours of birth raises many questions: was the child infected? Was this result due to unique features of this particular infant’s immune system, the immune system of infants or the very early initiation of effective ART? In this manuscript, we discuss the pathogenesis of HIV-1 in infants, highlighting the unique features of infant immune development and how these may inform efforts to cure HIV infection. We will also compare the path to infant “cure” to cures in adults.


HIV Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) Neonate Infant Pathogenesis Cure CD4+ T cells CD8+ T cells Central memory T cells (TCM) Effector memory T cells (TEM) Reservoir Immune quiescence Immune tolerance Microbial translocation Functional cure HIV-1 Antiretroviral therapy (ART) HIV pathogenesis