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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Jan 7;94(1):254-8.

The qualitative nature of the primary immune response to HIV infection is a prognosticator of disease progression independent of the initial level of plasma viremia.

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Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Following infection of the host with a virus, the delicate balance between virus replication/spread and the immune response to the virus determines the outcome of infection, i.e., persistence versus elimination of the virus. It is unclear, however, what relative roles immunologic and virologic factors play during primary viral infection in determining the subsequent clinical outcome. By studying a cohort of subjects with primary HIV infection, it has been demonstrated that qualitative differences in the primary immune response to HIV, but not quantitative differences in the initial levels of viremia are associated with different clinical outcomes.

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