The persistence of HIV in monocytes and macrophages

Whist antiretroviral therapy can suppress HIV and prevent AIDS, it is not a cure as it cannot eliminate HIV which persists in a silent state within cells. This “reservoir” of HIV largely resides within CD4+ T cells, but cells of the myeloid lineage including monocytes and macrophages can be infected with HIV and are a significant barrier to cure as they are long lived cells which can be more resistant to the cytopathic effects of HIV.

In this project we are: - Measuring the size of the monocyte HIV reservoir in people living with HIV on effective ART and determining the ability of this reservoir to reactivate if ART is stopped. - Investigating the mechanisms which determine active vs silent or latent infection in monocytes and macrophages. - Establishing an in vitro model of latently infected macrophages to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutics to target the myeloid reservoir.

This project will help inform the design of HIV cure strategies which effectively target all sources of HIV within the body, including that which persists within monocytes and macrophages.


2018 – 2021


  • Associate Professor Anthony Jaworowski, RMIT University



Health Issue

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Doctor Anna Hearps

Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination