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Science. 1996 May 24;272(5265):1167-70.

Prognosis in HIV-1 infection predicted by the quantity of virus in plasma.

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Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh 15213, USA.

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  • Science 1997 Jan 3;275(5296):14.


The relation between viremia and clinical outcome in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) has important implications for therapeutic research and clinical care. HIV-1 RNA in plasma was quantified with a branched-DNA signal amplification assay as a measure of viral load in a cohort of 180 seropositive men studied for more than 10 years. The risk of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and death in study subjects, including those with normal numbers of CD4+ T cells, was directly related to plasma viral load at study entry. Plasma viral load was a better predictor of progression to AIDS and death than was the number of CD4+ T cells.

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