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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009 Aug 15;51(5):601-8. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181a44700.

Blood and seminal plasma HIV-1 RNA levels among HIV-1-infected injecting drug users participating in the AIDSVAX B/E efficacy trial in Bangkok, Thailand.

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  • 1Thailand Ministry of Public Health-US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Collaboration, Nonthaburi, Thailand.



We investigated effects of vaccination with AIDSVAX B/E HIV-1 candidate vaccine on blood and seminal plasma HIV-1 RNA viral loads (BVL and SVL, respectively) in vaccine recipients (VRs) and placebo recipients (PRs) who acquired infection.


Linear mixed models were fitted for repeated measurements of BVL. Generalized estimating equations were used to assess the difference in SVL detectability between VRs and PRs.


A total of 196 participants became HIV-1 infected during the trial. Thirty-two (16%) became infected with HIV-1 subtype B and 164 (84%) with HIV-1 subtype CRF01_AE. Per protocol-specified analysis, there were no differences in BVL levels between VRs and PRs. When stratified by HIV-1-infecting subtype, vaccination with AIDSVAX B/E was initially associated with higher BVL among HIV-1 CRF01_AE-infected VRs compared with HIV-1 CRF01_AE-infected PRs; however, this difference did not persist over time. HIV-1 subtype B-infected VRs had slightly higher BVL levels and were more likely to have detectable SVL during the follow-up period than HIV-1 subtype B-infected PRs.


Subtle differences in BVL and SVL were detected between VRs and PRs. These results may help to further understand the dynamics between HIV-1 vaccination, HIV-1-infecting subtypes, and subsequent viral expression in different body compartments.

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