Luzuriaga: HIV return in Boston patients provides clues for scientists

UMMS immunologist quoted in Boston Globe on Brigham & Women’s research development

By Lisa M. Larson

UMass Medical School Communications

December 06, 2013

UMass Medical School HIV expert Katherine Luzuriaga, MD, told the Boston Globe that return of the HIV virus in two patients who had undergone bone marrow transplants and are being followed by Brigham & Women’s Hospital, while disappointing, does provide researchers with important findings in their search for a cure.

“This is certainly telling us a lot about persistence, what we need to do, and how low we need to drop the levels of HIV reservoirs in order to allow patients to achieve remission,” Dr. Luzuriaga told the Globe, commenting from the HIV/AIDS scientific conference Dec. 4 in Florida at which Brigham & Women’s researchers reported the development.

Luzuriaga, professor of molecular medicine, pediatrics and medicine, and an internationally recognized HIV scientist, is designing a study examining the effectiveness of early, aggressive antiretroviral treatment in HIV-infected infants. Earlier this year, Luzuriaga and colleagues reported the remission of HIV in a Mississippi baby who had undergone early treatment, and is free of the virus 18 months after being taken off medication.

Read the full Globe story here: HIV virus returns after cure hope rose

Related links:

Child born with HIV still in remission after 18 months off treatment, experts report
Discovery prompts new hope for pediatric HIV cure at UMMS