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Remission Research

MHRP's acute cohorts provide insight into crucial stages of early HIV infection. The acute stage of HIV infection immediately follows exposure to the virus and occurs before common tests to diagnosis HIV are able to diagnose infection. It is during this stage that the virus begins to replicate and invade the immune system. 

In order to better understand how the immune system responds during the critical moments of early infection, MHRP launched two innovative cohort studies in East Africa and Thailand, RV217 and RV254. By focusing on the earliest stages of infection, scientists hope to understand what’s needed to create an effective HIV vaccine and possibly inform future investigations into long-term HIV remission.

In 2016, MHRP launched functional cure studies within these cohorts. These small studies evaluate strategies aimed at inducing HIV remission (controlling virus without the need for long term anti-retroviral treatment). Interventions are wide-ranging and include therapeutic HIV vaccines and broadly neutralizing antibodies. 

MHRP researchers are exploring immune responses during this early phase of infection, along with genetic changes in the virus. They also work with leading HIV researchers to analyze data from the two unique acute HIV infection cohorts and identify additional research questions that the cohorts can help answer. Key collaborators include the NIH and academic institutions including Duke, Yale, and UCSF.