Steven Deeks of UCSF and Robert Siliciano of John Hopkins University School of Medicine, spoke at the opening session “Toward and HIV Cure” at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, D.C. ©IAS/Steve Shapiro – Commercialimage.net
UCSF’s Steven Deeks, MD, professor of medicine at the UCSF Division of HIV/AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and Trauma Center, spoke on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” on July 24, 2012 with host Neal Conan, discussing working toward a cure for HIV/AIDS.
Listen to the NPR discussion here.
A cure for HIV infection was on the mind of Deeks, who is co-chair of the International AIDS Society’s ‘Towards a Cure’ International Scientific Working Group.
The goal now is to prevent transmission, to cure people or to do both, Deeks said at the UCSF news conference before the meeting. “Antiviral drugs suppress the virus but do not eliminate it, so people must take them for decades. … The field needs fresh thinking.”
Deeks has been monitoring the “Berlin patient,” Timothy Brown, through an ongoing clinical cohort study and is conducting additional research related to the search for a cure.
In Washington, D.C., Deeks co-chaired a session on potential cures, which covered updates on stem cell transplants, gene therapy approaches that now are undergoing clinical evaluation, discoveries of biological mechanisms that allow the virus to persist within patients, and new drugs in the pipeline.