AIDS research and therapy 2016 09 1313(1) 31 doi 10.1186/s12981-016-0114-y
HIV-1 can persist in a latent form in resting memory CD4+ cells and macrophages carrying an integrated copy of the HIV genome. Because of the presence of these stable reservoir cells, eradication by antiretroviral therapy is unlikely and in order to achieve eradication, alternative treatment options are required. Stem cell transplantation has been considered previously to effect the clinical course of HIV-infection but in practice eradication or virus control was not achievable. However, modifications of stem cell transplantation using natural or artificial resistant cell sources, combination with new techniques of gene editing or generating cytotoxic anti HIV effector cells have stimulated this field of HIV cell therapy substantially. Here, we look back on 30 years of stem cell therapy in HIV patients and discuss most recent developments in this direction.