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HIV-1 dynamics in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


HIV-1-infected children have higher plasma viral loads and progress to disease more quickly than infected adults. To gain insight into the accelerated pathogenesis of HIV-1 in children, viral dynamics were measured following the initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and compared with those reported for adults. A biphasic decline in plasma HIV-1 RNA was observed, with a rapid decrease during the first 1 to 2 weeks of therapy (phase I) followed by a slower decline (phase II). The phase I and II decay rates were not significantly different among children of different ages, pretherapy plasma HIV-1 RNA levels, or CD4 cell counts. Estimated phase I decay rates were similar to those previously reported in adults with a mean of 0.43 days(-1) and a half-life of 1.6 days. The phase II decay rates were slower in children compared with adults with a mean of 0.016 days(-1) versus 0.066 days(-1), and a half-life of 43.3 versus 14.1 days, respectively (p < .05). The mean time required to reach viral levels below detection thresholds was also longer in these children compared with that in adults. These data suggest that HIV-1 dynamics may be different in children, and that these differences may necessitate different treatment strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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