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The Body Covers: The 36th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Abstract 6: HIV-1 Latent Reservoirs Exist in the Semen of HIV-infected Men

November 13, 1998

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

This study provides further data to suggest that despite non-detectable plasma HIV-1 RNA levels, that replication competent proviral DNA exists in seminal fluid. Seven patients on HAART whose plasma and seminal RNA levels were below 50 copies/mL were examined for the presence of proviral DNA in PBMCs as well as in seminal fluid/cells using a CD8 depleted technique. From PBMCs, 3 of the seven patients had proviral DNA that was replication competent; conversely, 2 of the 7 had proviral DNA in seminal cells. Sequencing the proviral DNA from the V3 loop demonstrated the virus to be either dual or macrophage trophic -- this has important implications in that CCR5+ (macrophage) trophic strains are associated with sexual transmission. Therefore, despite the optimism presented in abstract 5, this abstract suggests that despite there being a non-detectable viral load in potential sanctuary sites, that replication competent virus is present and associated with strains that can be sexually transmitted using more sensitive techniques.

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Reference

Abstract: HIV-1 Latent Reservoirs Exist in the Semen of HIV-infected Men
Authored by: Zhang H, Geethanjali D, Pomerantz RJ

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