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Combination antiretroviral therapy has had a major role in reducing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) plasma viral loads in HIV-1-infected adults but a variable effect in infants, in whom complete viral suppression appears to be less readily achieved. In adults, after the reduction in plasma viremia, there is a decrease in the numbers of circulating cytotoxic T cell (CTL) effectors and precursors in the majority of patients. This longitudinal study assessed the effect of combination drug therapy on the frequency of HIV-1-specific CTL responses in 8 HIV-1-infected children. Following treatment, the frequency of HIV-1-specific CTL responses initially increased, especially in children with incomplete viral suppression but with increasing CD4+ cell counts. In children with complete viral suppression, the frequency of HIV-1-specific CTL responses decreased, suggesting that viral replication is required to maintain CTL responses in the systemic circulation.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





359 - 368


Anti-HIV Agents, Child, Child, Preschool, Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic, Drug Therapy, Combination, Gene Products, nef, HIV Infections, HIV-1, HLA-B8 Antigen, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Humans, Infant, Leukocytes, Mononuclear, Longitudinal Studies, Peptide Fragments, RNA, Viral, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Viral Load, Viremia, nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus