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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2003 Dec 15;34(5):491-6.

HIV-1-infected antiretroviral-treated patients with prolonged partial viral suppression: clinical, virologic, and immunologic course.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The long-term feasibility of a drug conservation strategy that allows low-level viral replication is unknown. We performed a retrospective study of treated HIV-infected patients with stable detectable viral replication (<10000 copies/mL [low-level viremia]) and compared their clinical, virologic and immunologic courses with those of treated patients with undetectable viremia and viremia (>or=10000 copies/mL [high-level viremia]). Viral reverse transcriptase and protease genotype and HIV-specific CD4 T-cell responses were determined using patient-derived samples. Clinical and immunologic benefits were maintained in patients with partial virologic suppression (<or=10000 copies/mL). Although low-level viral replication under drug pressure led to the accumulation of resistance mutations in most subjects' viruses, most subjects retained susceptibility to drugs in >or=2 classes of antiretroviral medications. HIV-specific CD4+ T-cell immunity was detected in most subjects with low-level and undetectable viremia and may have a role in controlling viremia in the setting of partial suppression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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