The main impediment to a cure for HIV is the existence of long-lasting treatment resistant virus reservoirs. This review discusses what is currently known about reservoirs, including their formation and maintenance, while focusing on latently infected CD4+ T cells. It compares several different in vivo and in vitro models of latency and comments on how each model may reflect the properties of reservoirs in vivo, especially with regard to cell phenotype, since recent studies demonstrate that multiple CD4+ T cell subsets contribute to HIV reservoirs and that with HAART and disease progression the relative contribution of different subsets may change. It also focuses on the direct infection of resting CD4+ T cells as a source of reservoir formation and as a model of latency, since recent results help explain the misconception that resting CD4+ T cells appeared to be resistant to HIV in vitro.
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