The effect of commencing combination antiretroviral therapy soon after human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection on viral replication and antiviral immune responses
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Twelve subjects were treated with zidovudine, lamivudine, and ritonavir within 90 days of onset of symptoms of acute infection to determine whether human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection could be eradicated from an infected host. In adherent subjects, with or without modifications clue to intolerance, viral replication was suppressed during the 24-month treatment period. Durable suppression reduced levels of HIV-1-specific antibodies and cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses in selected subjects. Proviral DNA in mononuclear cells uniformly persisted. The persistence of HIV-1 RNA expression in lymphoid tissues and peripheral blood mononuclear cells suggests that elimination of this residual pool of virus should be achieved before considering adjustments in antiretroviral therapeutic regimens. In addition, given the reduction in levels of virus-specific immune responses, it would seem prudent to consider enhancing these responses using vaccine strategies prior to the withdrawal of antiviral therapy.