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Abstract Initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in early compared with chronic HIV infection is associated with a smaller HIV reservoir. This longitudinal analysis of 63 individuals who commenced ART during primary HIV infection (PHI) investigates which pre-and post-therapy factors associate most closely with reservoir size (HIV DNA) following treatment initiation during PHI. The best predictor of reservoir size at one-year was pre-ART HIV DNA which was in turn significantly associated with CD8 memory differentiation (effector memory, naïve and T-bet neg Eomes neg subsets), CD8 T cell activation (CD38 expression) and PD-1 and Tim-3 expression on memory CD4 T cells. No associations were found for any immunological variables following one-year of ART. HIV reservoir size is determined around the time of ART initiation in individuals treated during PHI. CD8 T cell activation and memory expansion are linked to HIV reservoir size, suggesting the importance of the initial host-viral interplay in eventual reservoir size.

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Journal article

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on behalf of the CHERUB investigators