The most prominent problem to finding a cure for AIDS is the size of the latent reservoir of proviruses - viral DNA that gets inserted into the genome of the patients' immune cells - in people that have HIV.
Less than one percent of HIV proviruses are brought into any state of activity that will allow them to be destroyed by present intervention methods. The inability to turn the latent forms of the virus on so they can be either removed or attended to by present antiretroviral therapy is the problem. The latent forms can be activated by changes in patients but what those changes are and what causes the activation is unknown.
The situation at present is complicated by the fact that inducing latent proviruses may increase the size of the latent reservoir by a factor of 60. Previous thought was that the latent form of HIV was harmless but this new research finds that thinking is not valid.
Siliciano has organized a conference of AIDS researchers to be held from Nov. 3, 2013 through Nov. 5, 2013 in San Francisco to address the new potential for AIDS recurrence with the hopes of developing a game plan to produce an AIDS free world.