Prognosis in HIV-1 Infection Predicted by the Quantity of Virus in Plasma

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Science  24 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5265, pp. 1167-1170
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5265.1167


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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