PerspectiveAids

Boosting Immunity to HIV--Can the Virus Help?

Science  03 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5493, pp. 946-949
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5493.946

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Summary

Treating HIV patients with triple drug therapy (HAART) during the earliest phases of primary infection reduces the amount of virus in the blood and prevents the drastic decrease in CD4T helper lymphocytes but, unfortunately, does not allow a strong, sustained cytotoxic CD8T cell response against HIV. In their Perspective, Autran and Carcelain discuss new findings suggesting that one or two rounds of interrupted drug therapy in acutely (although not chronically) HIV-infected patients may be able to reduce plasma virus to acceptably low levels, preventing further decreases in T helper cells while sustaining a strong cytotoxic T cell response.