The relationship of virus load to clinical disease progression in HIV- infected children remains to be elucidated. In this study, HIV-1 proviral DNA load was determined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) by the quantitative competitive DNA polymerase chain reaction assay (QC-PCR) in 47 HIV-infected children subdivided by age (group I, ≤2 years; group II, ≥5 years), who were further categorized to include 12 rapid progressors (RP, age ≤2 years, Centers for Disease Control [CDC] defined clinical category C and/or immune category 3, or death before age 2 years) and slow progressors (SP, age ≥5 years, excluding CDC categories C and/or immune category 3). Significantly higher mean proviral copies/103 PBMCs were detected in group I versus group II (75.4 ± 104.3 and 13.0 ± 17.8 respectively, p <0.0001) and in RP (158.0 ± 118.2) as compared to either SP (11.8 ± 18.8, p <0.0001) or other age-matched infected children (20.3 ± 38.8, p <0.0001). Thus HIV- infected children appear to have a higher cell-associated virus load early in life, especially in association with rapid disease progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases