Gene therapy is the insertion of genes into cells to change or normalize defective genetic material.
Target cells are somatic cells, which are cells that are not part of the germ line. Therefore, induced changes are not inheritable. Cells are removed, treated and transferred back. Another option is to treat the cells within the body. To do so, the functional gene or a “gene scissor” to repair a defective gene is introduced into the cells. Despite first successes, gene therapy is still in its infancy.
The development of new therapeutic approaches is still a major challenge in the treatment of HIV-1 infected patients. Part of the problem arises primarily from the virus' ability to latency: the virus hides in the genetic material of the cells and in this way becomes "invisible" to the immune system ...