Available therapies used to prevent the development of AIDS in HIV-infected individuals work by reducing the level of infection, but do not completely destroy the infection. A persistent source of HIV-infected cells remains in HIV-infected individuals despite being on long-term antiviral therapy. This causes ongoing inflammation and immune system activation, putting these individuals at risk for developing non-AIDS diseases and conditions. Given the increased risk of health with the persistent presence of HIV-infected cells, new treatment approaches are needed that will completely eliminate or kill the HIV-infected cells, removing the source (reservoir) of these cells.
Our immune cells, including T cells, decline as we age. Shingles vaccination aids our diminished immune systems in keeping the chicken pox virus dormant.