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Central nervous system involvement is common in HIV infection. We determined the relationship between T-cell subsets and viral load in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of therapy-naive, asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals. A shift from naive to effector-memory CD8 T cells was observed in the CSF of HIV-infected individuals compared with controls. The HIV load strongly correlated with CD8 T cells in CSF. Effector-memory CD8 T cells were positively and effector CD8 T cells were negatively associated with viral replication in CSF.