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Presence of an inducible HIV-1 latent reservoir during highly active antiretroviral therapy.


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Nov 25;94(24):13193-7. Unique Identifier

Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the form of triple combinations of drugs including protease inhibitors can reduce the plasma viral load of some HIV-1-infected individuals to undetectable levels, it is unclear what the effects of these regimens are on latently infected CD4+ T cells and what role these cells play in the persistence of HIV-1 infection in individuals receiving such treatment. The present study demonstrates that highly purified CD4+ T cells from 13 of 13 patients receiving HAART with an average treatment time of 10 months and with undetectable (<500 copies HIV RNA/ml) plasma viremia by a commonly used bDNA assay carried integrated proviral DNA and were capable of producing infectious virus upon cellular activation in vitro. Phenotypic analysis of HIV-1 produced by activation of latently infected CD4+ T cells revealed the presence in some patients of syncytium-inducing virus. In addition, the presence of unintegrated HIV-1 DNA in infected resting CD4+ T cells from patients receiving HAART, even those with undetectable plasma viremia, suggests persistent active virus replication in vivo.



Information in this article was accurate in March 30, 1998. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.