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Primary infection & prognosis
Jan 1, 2007

You write in an earlier answear that it is logical that a more symptomtic primary HIV infection will lead to an earlier immune dysfunction. Could you explain this. I thought that the symptoms in the primary infection was caused by the immuneresponse itself, hence strong symptoms = strong immune response against HIV = better prognosis???

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello, and thanks for posting.

I see your point, but the medical literature suggests that patients with more symptomatic primary HIV infection experience more rapid disease progression. Here is a link to one early study that shows this association.

The interplay between viral infection and immune response is complex and it is not really understood how these factors translate into clinical symptoms. In any case, this is only an association between early symptoms and disease progression, not a hard and fast rule. It is likely that the outcome for any individual will ultimately depend more on response to antiretroviral therapy.

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