Elite Controllers

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A very small percentage (1%) of people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are able to maintain a very low or undetectable viral load for many years (sometimes decades) without taking HIV antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) may be theoretically beneficial for elite controllers (to prevent long term inflammation of HIV at low levels of viral replication). It is thought that elite controllers may lack a surface receptor on T cells that highly, but not completely, prevents HIV from entering and infecting these cells. The other 99% (majority) of PLHIV need to take HIV ARV treatment to control HIV.