Human Immunodeficiency Virus Replication in AIDS Patients withMycobacterium aviumComplex Bacteremia: A Case Control Study

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The development of opportunistic infections and the administration of vaccines have been associated with transient increases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA plasma levels in HIV-infected patients. To determine the relationship between Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteremia and HIV RNA levels, HIV RNA levels in patients who developed MAC bacteremia (cases) were compared with levels in patients who remained free of MAC disease (controls). Cases and controls were matched for CD4 cell count, prophylaxis against MAC disease, antiretroviral therapy, and duration of follow-up. Mean baseline HIV RNA levels were 4.8 log10 copies/mL in cases and 4.6 log10 copies/mL in controls (P = 0.22). HIV RNA levels increased by a median of 0.4 log in cases but not controls at the time of MAC bacteremia (P = 0.01). In AIDS patients, the onset of MAC bacteremia is associated with a modest but significant increase in serum HIV RNA levels. Increased HIV replication may contribute to the higher mortality associated with MAC bacteremia.

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