Enhancing HIV-1 Specific Immunity as a Therapeutic Strategy in Aids
Over the past several years it has become apparent that HIV-1 infection is characterized by a prolonged struggle between a lymphotropic retrovirus and a vigorous humoral and cellular immune response. Following initial infection, HIV-1 replicates to high titers in the peripheral blood, and other lymphoid tissues. 1,2 During this explosive phase of viral replication, HIV-1 RNA copy numbers in plasma approach or exceed those seen in late stage disease.3 Over an 8–12 week period, viral titres in plasma drop precipitously as a vigorous cellular and humoral immune response develops.4 The precipitous decline in viral load which results from the immune response to HIV is several orders of magnitude greater than the reduction which occurs following therapy with nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors,5 and lasts an average of 6–9 years. The profound and prolonged decline in viral load which is attributable to the virus-specific immune response during primary infection has suggested that augmenting this immune response in infected individuals may prolong both the asymptomatic period of HIV infection and survival.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Specific Immune Response Passive Immunotherapy Recombinant Human Monoclonal Antibody
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