The global Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) pandemic is still spreading due to the
lack of ideal anti-retroviral measures and their availability. Till date, all attempts to produce an efficient
vaccine have ended with unsatisfactory results. The highly active anti-retroviral therapy
(HAART) is the only effective weapon currently available and is widely being used for curtailing the HIV pandemic.
However, the HAART is also expected to fail in the near future due to the emergence and dissemination of antiviral resistance.
This review sheds light on the reasons for the failure of the conventional anti-viral measures against HIV and the
novel anti-retroviral strategies currently being developed. The various principles to be considered for the success of a
novel anti-retroviral strategy are elaborately emphasized and an innovative concept is proposed on these lines. The proposed
concept intends to use receptor decoy traps (RDT) called cancellers which are erythrocytes expressing the HIV entry
receptors on their surface. If successfully developed, the cancellers would be capable of active targeting of the free
HIV particles leading to the trapping of the viruses within the canceller, resulting in the neutralization of infectivity of the
trapped virus. The possible ways of translating this concept into reality and the probable hurdles that can be encountered
in the process are subsequently discussed. Also, the scope of cancellers in therapeutic and/or preventive strategies against
HIV infection is envisaged upon their successful development.
Keywords: Cancellers, carrier erythrocytes, functional cure, genetic manipulation, haematopoietic stem cells, HIV, receptor
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