HPTN Bibliographic Record

Celum CL, Buchbinder SP, Donnell D, Douglas JM Jr, Mayer K, Koblin B, Marmor M, Bozeman S, Grant RM, Flores J, Sheppard HW. Early human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the HIV Network for Prevention Trials Vaccine Preparedness Cohort: risk behaviors, symptoms, and early plasma and genital tract virus load. J Infect Dis. 2001, 183: 23-35.
Risk behaviors, symptoms, and virologic characteristics were studied among 103 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seroconverters in vaccine preparedness cohorts during 1995-1998. Overall, 83% of subjects were men who had sex with men; most reported multiple risk episodes and symptoms (84%, > or =1 symptom) during seroconversion. Acute HIV was diagnosed in only 8 of 50 who sought medical care. Median initial pretreatment plasma virus load was 25,800 copies/mL (range, undetectable-262,000 copies/mL) a mean of 4 months after seroconversion, and 9.7% had nucleoside-associated mutations; none had multidrug resistance. Semen virus load was more variable, 1.3 log(10) lower and modestly correlated (r=.28; 95% confidence interval, 0.16- 0.42) with plasma among untreated men. When the plasma RNA level was <5000 copies/mL, 32% of untreated men, 13% on nucleoside regimens, and 7% on protease inhibitor-containing regimens had detectable seminal RNA. Acute HIV was seldom diagnosed, representing missed opportunities for early treatment and prevention. Most subjects had several relatively stable virus loads before initiation of antiretrovirals, indicating feasibility of assessing HIV vaccines on virus set point in efficacy trials.