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Table 1 Strengths and weaknesses of the Bissau HIV and the Guinea-Bissau police cohorts and associated research teams

From: HIV-2 as a model to identify a functional HIV cure

Strengths Weaknesses
World’s largest HIV-2 cohort + professional cohort with long and frequent follow-up [4, 12, 98, 130, 131] High mortality and loss-to-follow-up
HIV-2 epidemiology well-characterized over three decades [4, 22]  
Nationwide cohort [131, 132] High patient-turnaround and insufficient staff-resources
Strong collaboration with the National Health Laboratory in Guinea-Bissau Limited lab capacity locally
Large biorepository with preserved plasma and DNA Limited sample volume in historical samples
Cohort clinical real-time database including demographics and follow-up data [24, 133,134,135] Limited data-entry capacity and political instability [136]
Close linkage with HIV-cure research environment and in-depth molecular analysis, including access to humanized mice models, ex vivo infection models, full-length genome sequencing and construction of infectious chimeric viruses [35, 98, 137,138,139,140,141] Weak local research environment with few nationals at Ph.D level
Well-functioning national ethical committee with enhanced understanding for the complex ethical balancing needed for cure trials Low health literacy among HIV patients, and extended information and consent procedure needed
National ethics committee placed within Ministry of Health, and a permission also serves as official government authorization for interventions to be tested Limited experience among official health authorities for approval of non-approved drugs
Burden of co-infections and other comorbidities [98, 136, 142,143,144,145,146,147,148,149,150,151] Limited local diagnostic capacity for a number of co-infections
Resistance testing of HIV-1 [152, 153] Limited local capacity for genotypic resistance, and non-existing for HIV-2
Well-described algorithms for the diagnostic challenges of differentiating HIV-2 and dual-infections [98, 154,155,156,157,158,159,160] Not the entire cohort tested with updated HIV-2 and HIV-1/HIV-2 dual diagnostics, needs retesting prior to trials