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The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been an important breakthrough in the treatment of HIV-1 infection and has also a powerful tool to upset the equilibrium of viral production and HIV-1 pathogenesis. Despite the advent of potent combinations of this therapy, the long-lived HIV-1 reservoirs like cells from monocyte-macrophage lineage and resting memory CD4+ T cells which are established early during primary infection constitute a major obstacle to virus eradication. Further HAART interruption leads to immediate rebound viremia from latent reservoirs. This paper focuses on the essentials of the molecular mechanisms for the establishment of HIV-1 latency with special concern to present and future possible treatment strategies to completely purge and target viral persistence in the reservoirs.