HIV cure research

Over the last few years there have been some significant developments in scientific research pointing to the potential for an HIV cure; however HIV cure research is still in its infancy.

While there is much optimism about its potential, it is likely that a cure for HIV will not be realised for some time. Regardless of how successful cure research is, a focus on HIV prevention will remain pivotal. 

The optimism contained in media statements around this work has sometimes led to misleading reports in the media, implying that a cure for HIV is ‘imminent’.

For an example where an Australian research body’s PR statement has prompted uncritical and therefore inaccurate reporting, see: Australian AIDS Cure Claim Leads to a Maelstrom of Hype and Misinformation

Tips for reporting HIV cure research

  • Maintain a critical approach when citing media releases
  • Consult a variety of sources, including subject matter experts and peer-reviewed journals, to ensure you have a balanced understanding of the implications of the research
  • Beware of making claims about a 'set timeframe'. Laboratory research needs to be verified by three phases of clinical trials, which may encounter setbacks and can involve decades of work.

The Doherty Institute, Melbourne's Alfred Hospital and Living Positive Victoria have put together an excellent guide for media consumers on taking a critical approach to reporting on HIV cure research. See: HIV cure in the media ­­– how to sort fact from fiction

 See also: Developing a cure for HIV