Mullins Molecular Retrovirology Lab

  • Department of Microbiology
  • School of Medicine
  • University of Washington
University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research

Citation Information

Gottlieb GS, Sow PS, Hawes SE, Ndoye I, Redman M, Coll-Seck AM, Faye-Niang MA, Diop A, Kuypers JM, Critchlow CW, Respess R, Mullins JI, Kiviat NB (2002). Equal plasma viral loads predict a similar rate of CD4+ T cell decline in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1- and HIV-2-infected individuals from Senegal, West Africa. The Journal of infectious diseases, 185(7), 905-14. (pubmed)


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 2 infection is characterized by slower disease progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome than results from HIV-1 infection. To better understand the biological factors underlying the different natural histories of infection with these 2 retroviruses, we examined the relationship between HIV RNA and DNA levels and the rate of CD4(+) T cell decline among 472 HIV-1- and 114 HIV-2-infected individuals from Senegal. The annual rate of CD4(+) T cell decline in the HIV-2 cohort was approximately one-fourth that seen in the HIV-1 cohort. However, when the analysis was adjusted for baseline plasma HIV RNA level, the rates of CD4(+) T cell decline per year for the HIV-1 and HIV-2 cohorts were similar (a rate increase of approximately 4% per year for each increase in viral load of 1 log(10) copies/mL). Therefore, plasma HIV load is predictive of the rate of CD4(+) T cell decline over time, and the correlation between viral load and the rate of decline appears to be similar among all HIV-infected individuals, regardless of whether they harbor HIV-1 or HIV-2.