The present study was aimed at describing the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 10 patients with primary HIV infection (PHI). Clearance rates of HIV RNA and HIV DNA in peripheral blood as well as the preexistence and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV were determined over 52 weeks of treatment. The data indicate that HAART is able to induce a suppression of plasma viral load together with a significant decrease, but not a suppression, of peripheral blood mononuclear cell-associated proviral DNA in PHI subjects. Analysis of drug-resistant strains revealed that three PHI patients, showing a complete virologic response, developed mutations in the pol gene, thus suggesting that a persistent residual virus replication exists despite a sustained suppression of plasma viremia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas