Over the last 40 years, HIV has shifted from a deadly and mysterious virus to one that can be controlled with daily drugs. But attempts to completely eliminate the virus from the bodies of people living with HIV, curing them for good, have failed.
The HIV Obstruction by Programmed Epigenetics (HOPE) Collaboratory aims to both silence and permanently remove HIV from the body, by taking advantage of knowledge about how other viruses have become naturally inactivated over time.
HOPE researchers are focused on a novel “block-lock-excise” approach to find a cure for HIV that doesn’t require continuous treatment. This approach consists of using drugs to block the silent virus from reactivating, and then changing the DNA of latent HIV with gene editing approaches to permanently destroy the virus.
The group is also engaging the community to help ensure that any resulting therapeutics are welcomed—and understood—by people living with HIV.
In August 2021, the HOPE Collaboratory received a $26.5-million grant (UM1AI164559) from the National Institutes of Health under its flagship program on HIV cure research, called the Martin Delaney Collaboratories program