Globally, 240,000 infants are newly infected with HIV-1 each year and 3.2 million children are living with the infection. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has reduced HIV-1-related disease and mortality in children but is not curative owing to the early generation of a latent reservoir of long-lived memory CD4+ T cells bearing replication-competent HIV-1 provirus integrated into cellular DNA. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of the establishment of HIV-1 persistence in children and how early initiation of cART in the setting of the developing infant immune system limits the formation of the long-lived latent CD4+ cell reservoir that remains a barrier to remission or cure.


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