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HIV Experimental Treatments

Education Packet

Experimental HIV Treatments – This packet is a compilation of several recent fact sheets and other resources. You may wish to customize it to meet the needs or interests of particular groups, such as event participants, providers, patients, clients, or the general public. So please feel free to distribute all or part of this packet as either a printout or PDF.

Experimental HIV Treatments

AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) – ACTG is the world’s largest and longest running HIV clinical trials network. It conducts research to improve the treatment of HIV and its co-infections, including tuberculosis and viral hepatitis, as well as its co-morbidities. ACTG also seeks to advance approaches to ultimately cure HIV.

Antiretroviral Drug Discovery and Development (NIAID) – This fact sheet provides an overview of the history of antiretroviral drug (ARV) development from the early years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic to the present, along with information about NIAID’s ongoing effort to identify new classes of ARVs that fight HIV in novel ways. An associated infographic contrasts the complexity of ARV regimens in the 1990s with the single-pill regimens common now.

Drug Database of HIV and Opportunistic Infections Medications (Clinicalinfo.HIV) – This database contains information about more than 150 medications for HIV, opportunistic infections, and related conditions that have either been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or are being studied in clinical trials. Also available in Spanish.

What Is an Investigational HIV Drug? (HIVinfo) – This fact sheet describes what investigational drugs are, the types of investigational HIV drugs that are under development, the role of clinical trials in evaluating drugs, expanded access programs for investigational drugs, and where to find more information about HIV investigational drugs. Also available in Spanish.

Long-Acting/Extended Release Antiretroviral Research Resource Program (LEAP) – LEAP is an NIH-funded program whose mission is to “prioritize drugs and delivery platforms by identifying knowledge gaps and barriers in order to overcome limitations of available products.” It includes research on tuberculosis and viral hepatitis, which overlap the HIV epidemic.

What Is a Therapeutic HIV Vaccine? – This fact sheet describes what therapeutic HIV vaccines are, how they differ from preventive vaccines, the potential benefits of therapeutic vaccines, and where to find more information about therapeutic vaccine development. Also available in Spanish.

Future Directions for HIV Treatment Research (NIAID) – This fact sheet provides an overview of several areas of HIV treatment research, including the development and testing of: long-acting drugs; broadly neutralizing antibodies capable of blocking a wide range of HIV strains; therapeutic HIV vaccines to boost the immune response to HIV of persons infected with the virus; and experimental ARVs that fight HIV in novel ways.

HIV Cure Research

Research Toward HIV Cure (NIH Office of AIDS Research) – This fact sheet NIH describes the two main types of HIV cure research NIH is investing in: sustained viral remission, which involves reducing HIV to undetectable levels without the use of antiretroviral drugs; and eradicating HIV, which involves eliminating HIV entirely from the body.

HIV Cure (NIAID) – This fact sheet also briefly discusses research into sustained ART-free HIV remission and viral eradication, which are described in greater depth in the two fact sheets immediately below. It also links to a 4-minute NIAID video that explains the challenges for curing HIV and efforts to achieve HIV remission and viral eradication. 

Sustained ART-Free HIV Remission (NIAID) – This fact sheet discusses strategies for achieving sustained HIV remission in persons with HIV. These include boosting the immune system to achieve remission, starting ART therapy very soon after infection to achieve remission, and developing long-acting ART that can suppress HIV for extended periods and thereby provide a bridge to ART-free remission.

Viral Eradication (NIAID) – This fact sheet describes research designed to eliminate HIV from the body. Viral eradication research includes efforts to reverse HIV latency and destroy the HIV viral reservoir, and to use stem cell transplantation and gene therapy to enhance the immune system’s ability to fight HIV.

Research Toward a Cure Trials (Treatment Action Group) – This is a frequently updated chart listing clinical trials and observational studies related to the research effort to cure HIV infection. It includes the trial names and registry identifier numbers, sponsors, phase, and estimated date that each trial ends of provides interim results. By clicking on the registry identifier number for a particular trial, users are directed to a corresponding page with more detailed information for that trial.


The contents listed on this page are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, the New England AIDS Education and Training Center.