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There's no cure for HIV, but we're working on it

When Dr. Zabrina Brumme was in grad school, the idea of finding a cure for HIV was little more than science fiction.

“We thought that a cure would never be possible,” she recalls.

A little over a decade later, Brumme says cure research is at the forefront of HIV biomedical science research. It’s also one of her main focuses as Laboratory Director at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s Hospital. While the field is still in its infancy and a cure for HIV is not yet in sight, many people are now convinced it’s possible.  

“We are actively working on it, and we believe that it will be feasible to achieve one day,” Brumme says.

The arc of scientific progress on HIV has been swift. The BC-CfE has played one of the most significant roles — from the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to Treatment as Prevention® (TasP®). Modern treatment now makes HIV a manageable condition. In the absence of a vaccine or a cure, TasP® is the best means of curbing the spread of HIV. This strategy involves expanding access to testing and the immediate universal provision of HIV drugs upon a diagnosis.

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