Mathematical Models of HIV-1 Dynamics, Transcription, and Latency

Iván D’Orso, Christian V. Forst

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


HIV-1 latency is a major barrier to curing infections with antiretroviral therapy and, consequently, to eliminating the disease globally. The establishment, maintenance, and potential clearance of latent infection are complex dynamic processes and can be best described with the help of mathematical models followed by experimental validation. Here, we review the use of viral dynamics models for HIV-1, with a focus on applications to the latent reservoir. Such models have been used to explain the multi-phasic decay of viral load during antiretroviral therapy, the early seeding of the latent reservoir during acute infection and the limited inflow during treatment, the dynamics of viral blips, and the phenomenon of post-treatment control. Finally, we discuss that mathematical models have been used to predict the efficacy of potential HIV-1 cure strategies, such as latency-reversing agents, early treatment initiation, or gene therapies, and to provide guidance for designing trials of these novel interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2119
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • HIV-1
  • latency
  • mathematical modeling
  • reactivation
  • stochastic fluctuations
  • transcription


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