Insight into treatment of HIV infection from viral dynamics models

Hill AL, Rosenbloom DIS, Nowak MA, Siliciano RF

The odds of living a long and healthy life with HIV infection have dramatically improved with the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy. Along with the early development and clinical trials of these drugs, and new field of research emerged called viral dynamics, which uses mathematical models to interpret and predict the time-course of viral levels during infection and how they are altered by treatment. In this review, we summarize the contributions that virus dynamics models have made to understanding the pathophysiology of infection and to designing effective therapies. This includes studies of the multiphasic decay of viral load when antiretroviral therapy is given, the evolution of drug resistance, the long-term persistence latently infected cells, and the rebound of viremia when drugs are stopped. We additionally discuss new work applying viral dynamics models to new classes of investigational treatment for HIV, including latency-reversing agents and immunotherapy.