The news was released with the caveat that even when HIV is brought down to undetectable levels, a small amount of the virus is latent within certain cells. The virus hides and remains in reservoirs, the CD4 lymphocyte immune cells, which are the main targets of HIV.
According to a spokesperson of the Institute, current HIV treatments are unable to eradicate the virus. “The antiretroviral treatment used today is designed to block HIV infection but is not able to eliminate the virus from the body,” they said. “The virus remains in reservoirs… the main targets of HIV.”
Eliminating these hidden reservoirs of virus has become a key target among scientists wishing to cure HIV.