Vol. 17, No. 1, Spring 2013

Editor's Letter, A Toddler Stole the Show, The Antibody Race, Research Briefs, Vaccine Briefs

A Toddler Stole the Show

The report of a child functionally cured of HIV stirred up the typically staid proceedings of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections


IAVI REPORT – VOL. 17, NO. 1, 2013

Vol. 17, No. 1 - Spring 2013Cover Art

It isn’t often that a toddler dominates discussion at a scientific conference—unless, of course, the conversation takes place between a pair of doting grandparents who also happen to be researchers.

But with the report that a 30-month-old Mississippian appears to have been “functionally” cured of HIV by early and aggressive treatment, that’s exactly what happened this year at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). The finding fueled much water-cooler conversation at the gathering and inspired more than a few breathless news stories. Those of you who missed the conference will be happy to know that IAVI Report had not just one but two correspondents there to report on the matter.

In this issue, our contributor Richard Jefferys describes the remarkable caseand other notable HIV cure-related research presented at the conference. Meanwhile, Regina McEnery, who blogged about the toddler news as it broke, reports on CROI talks and presentations that touched on HIV prevention. Andreas von Bubnoff, for his part, shares a story from the Keystone symposium on HIV vaccines that focuses on, well, HIV vaccine research. If things like broadly neutralizing antibodies, passive immunization and virus-like particles set your pulse racing, we invite you to immerse yourself in his report.

Our shorts this year include items on the WHO’s HIV guidelines, a research report on HIV Tat as a possible target for protective neutralizing antibodies, and the launch of a new replicating viral vector HIV vaccine candidate in clinical trials. We also share news of a protest, which occurred April 8th in Washington, D.C., against cuts to federal funding for health research. But that’s just a heads-up: Ms. McEnery will be there to report on what—if anything—happens for the IAVI Report blog. Read all about it on our website—and, please, keep coming back. You’ll notice how lively our blog has become, with frequent updates on scientific research, policy and many other matters of relevance to HIV prevention.

I sincerely hope you enjoy our first issue of 2013.

—Unmesh Kher

Research Briefs

Neutralizing HIV Tat-specific antibodies might be involved in protection


The Antibody Race

This year’s Keystone symposium on HIV vaccines, held jointly with B-cell immunologists, focused unapologetically on antibodies against HIV


Vaccine Briefs

By Regina McEnery

Rallying for research