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The 2012 International Symposium on HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases (ISHEID) provided a forum for investigators to hear the latest research developments in the clinical management of HIV and HCV infections as well as HIV-1 reservoirs and cure research. Combined anti-retroviral therapy (c-ART) has had a profound impact on the disease prognosis of individuals living with HIV-1 infection. However, although these anti-retroviral regimens are able to reduce plasma viremia to below the limits of detection for sustained periods of time, there is a rapid recrudescence in plasma viremia if treatment is interrupted. Therefore, despite this potent anti-retroviral suppression, HIV-1 is able to persist within the infected individual. The main 2012 ISHEID theme was, hence “searching for an HIV cure”. In this report we not only give details on this main topic of the 2012 ISHEID but also summarize what has been discussed in the areas of HIV epidemiology, access to care, antiretroviral therapy management and recent progress in the therapy of HCV infection in patients with HIV.