Research-for-Cure Academy

Carlo Perez Sacdalan

Nationality: Filipino
Institution: SEARCH/Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre
Country of work: Thailand

What is your motivation for engaging in HIV cure and remission research?

As an HIV physician and researcher, my personal encounters with patients living with HIV showed me broad spectrum challenges. I witnessed how HIV treatment made a valuable impact. However, the social and economic implications of HIV is difficult to address with ART alone. Stigma and discrimination is a challenge patients living with HIV will always face. The cost of providing lifelong ART will remain to be an issue of health systems of countries with already limited resources. Providing a durable cure or remission offers a chance to eliminate these multifaceted challenges and improve the societal and economic implications brought by HIV.

What is your current area of research?

I currently work as a clinical research physician at SEARCH, The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre, a site dedicated to acute HIV (AHI) and HIV cure research. I help in managing the ongoing RV254 cohort which follows more than 600 AHI participants for a maximum of 14 years. So far, we conducted 4 HIV cure studies with analytic treatment interruption in very early treated volunteers, testing early ART in acute HIV (RV411), vorinostat as a latency reversing agent (RV409), broadly neutralizing antibody VRC01(RV397), and therapeutic vaccines Ad26/MVA (RV405). Preparations are ongoing to implement remission trials using IL15 and dendritic cell immunotherapy.