Early Changes in T-Cell Activation Predict Antiretroviral Success in Salvage Therapy of HIV Infection

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Because effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces immune activation, we hypothesize that early changes in immune activation are associated with subsequent virologic response to therapy.


Observational cohort study.


Institutional HIV clinic.


Thirty-four adult HIV patients with virologic failure on their current antiretroviral regimen.


Change to salvage regimen selected by patient's physician.

Main Outcome Measures:

Measures of immune activation at baseline and at 2, 4, 8, and 24 weeks after enrollment. Data were analyzed by proportional hazards (PH) models.


PH models showed that reductions between baseline and week 2 in expression of CD38 (P = 0.02) or CD95 (P = 0.02) on CD4+ T cells were associated with increased likelihood of achieving virologic suppression. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that patients who had reductions within the first 2 weeks of therapy in CD4+ T-cell expression of CD38 (P = 0.003) or CD95 (P = 0.08) were more likely to achieve viral suppression than those who did not.


Reduced CD4+ T-cell expression of CD38 and CD95 occurring within 2 weeks of salvage therapy is associated with subsequent viral suppression. Monitoring CD38 and CD95 may allow earlier assessment of the response to ART.

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