Clinical presentation and diagnosis of primary HIV-1 infection


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewTo describe current findings concerning the clinical manifestations and diagnosis of primary HIV-1 infection.Recent findingsHIV-1 seroconversion can occur with a variety of clinical manifestations or without symptoms. More severe and numerous symptoms during primary HIV-1 infection predict a higher plasma HIV-1 RNA set-point and faster disease progression. While detection of primary HIV-1 infection is potentially very important for HIV-1 prevention and may offer clinical benefits, the diagnosis is often missed. Diagnosis of symptomatic individuals with antibody-negative HIV-1 infection requires recognition of the diverse signs and symptoms of this syndrome. Diagnostic tests for primary HIV-1 infection include assays for HIV-1 RNA, p24 antigen, and third generation enzyme immunoassay antibody tests capable of detecting IgM antibodies. Targeting these tests using clinical presentation alone will probably miss the diagnosis in many individuals. Consequently, increasing effort has gone into developing strategies to incorporate the use of these assays into routine HIV-1 testing algorithms.SummaryMore numerous and severe primary HIV-1 infection symptoms predict more rapid disease progression. Pooled HIV-1 RNA screening and fourth generation HIV-1 enzyme immunoassay antibody tests with sensitive p24 antigen detection are beginning to be implemented in routine HIV-1 testing algorithms, but further research is needed to define optimal strategies for increasing detection of primary HIV-1 infection.

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