By destroying CD4+ T cells, human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection results in immunodeficiency and the inability of the immune system to contain the virus in most individuals. Although treatment of HIV-1 infection with potent antiretroviral medications has resulted in enormous clinical benefit, there is a growing recognition of the limitations of this therapy. As a result, novel approaches to treating HIV-1 infection are being considered. One such strategy is immunotherapy, which seeks to boost immune responses against HIV-1 and control the virus. This approach is based on studies of other viruses in which a coordinated immune response contains the chronic infection. Recent studies show that CD4+ helper responses, CD8+ T cell activity, and antibodies may contribute to control of the virus without antiretroviral therapy in some HIV-positive individuals. Based on this understanding of the immunologic correlates of control of HIV-1, exciting new immunotherapeutic strategies for HIV-1 infection are being designed and tested.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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