Comprendre les déterminants du contrôle de la maladie VIH : une vision vers une génération libérée du VIH

 

Cécile Tremblay

Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal

 

Domaine : maladies infectieuses et immunitaires

Programme chercheurs nationaux

Concours 2014-2015

Although expanded use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and usage of ART for prevention have already positively altered the dynamics of the pandemic, these strategies alone are unlikely to fully control the epidemic, unless it is combined with a curative strategy. Such a strategy is needed not only to reduce HIV transmission but also to address disease burden for the millions of already infected individuals and to limit the unsustainable costs of HIV treatment.  My research program focuses on these goals.

a) Towards an HIV Cure:  Models of functional cure can inform strategies to boost the immune system. I have assembled a cohort of rare individuals, called HIV slow progressors (SP), who naturally control their HIV disease.  I am seeking to continue their follow-up in order to reach the goal of a functional cure.

b) Adressing the burden of premature aging with HIV:  HIV persists in latent reservoirs and this is thought to result in a chronic state of immune activation associated with age-related diseases including the increased risk of cardio-vascular diseases (CVD). We wish to further characterize the pathways/predictors leading to such chronic disorders.

c) Eradicating HIV transmission: Whereas cascade of care needs to be documented to guide our prevention efforts, other prevention strategies need to be deployed concomitantly to protect those at high risk of acquiring HIV.

My program addresses two strategies based on two patient cohorts:
a) the «on-demand» pre-exposure prophylaxis randomized, placebo-controlled trial «Ipergay» ;

b) a cohort of sero-negative MSM in Montreal which will allow to monitor HIV and STI incidence as well as provide testing, counselling and support in this community.

More than anything, I am confident that the quality of the teams I have put together throughout the years will ensure the generation of important knowledge towards a generation free of HIV.