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In order to better understand how the immune system responds during the critical days of early infection, MUWRP, in partnership with the U.S. Military HIV Research Program, is part of a cohort study spanning multiple sites in East Africa, called RV217.

By focusing on the earliest stages of infection, scientists hope to understand what’s needed to create an effective HIV vaccine and possibly inform future investigations into a functional cure.

This ambitious multi-site study follows a group of high-risk volunteers, tracking their HIV status and characterizing their progression through the acute stages of HIV infection. This prospective study has captured samples from some of the earliest stages of HIV infection – in some cases within days – along with blood samples before infection.

Researchers are exploring immune responses during this early phase of infection, along with genetic changes in the virus. Participants in the cohort may also be part of small studies aimed at HIV remission.