Gene therapy to cure HIV infection Volume 27, numéro 5, Septembre-Octobre 2023


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1 Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montréal, Québec, H3T 1E2, Canada
2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, H3A 0G4, Canada
3 Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, H3A 0G4, Canada
* Correspondance : R. Scarborough

To date, the only intervention that has cured HIV infection has been bone marrow transplants from HIV-resistant donors to HIV-infected recipients. This approach has been used to both cure hematological malignancies and HIV infection, but it cannot be widely adopted due to the high risk of mortality associated with cell transplants between individuals. To overcome this limitation, several approaches have been developed to generate HIV resistance using gene therapy in an infected individual’s own cells. With the growing arsenal of effective methods to generate HIV-resistant cells, a safe and effective combination gene therapy approach to cure HIV infection is fast approaching. Here, we review several gene therapy-based methods to generate HIV-resistant cells including the expression of antiviral genes, genome editing, and transcriptional gene silencing. Their varied mechanisms, advantages, and disadvantages are discussed, and perspectives are provided for how they may be combined to design an effective gene therapy for HIV.