Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Higher HIV RNA Viral Load in Recent Patients with Symptomatic Acute HIV Infection in Lyon University Hospitals

Increased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) virulence at infection has been suggested by a meta-analysis based on viral load and CD4 T lymphocytes (CD4) count during acute infection. This result was obtained after secondary analyses of large databases, facilitating the detection of differences. Similar finding in cohorts of more modest sample size would indicate that the effect could be more substantial.

Change from initial CD4 count and HIV viral load after acute HIV infection by calendar year was explored in patients treated at Lyon University hospitals. All patients admitted to our hospitals with acute HIV infection between 1996 and 2013 were included in our study. Initial CD4 count and viral load before the start of anti-retroviral treatment were analyzed. Trends over time were assessed in linear models.

Initial CD4 count remained similar over time. However, in 2006-2013, initial viral load rose significantly (+1.12 log10/ml/year, p = 0.01).

Our data, obtained from a single hospital cohort, confirmed findings from a large meta-analysis, showed increased initial viremia at acute HIV infection since 2006 and suggesting potentially higher HIV virulence in recent years.

Below:  Initial viral load during acute HIV infection by year, Lyon university Hospitals, 1996 to 2013

Full article at:

  • 1Infection Control and Epidemiology Unit, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France.
  • 2Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France.
  • 3Infection Control and Epidemiology Unit, Hôpital Croix-Rousse, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France.
  • 4Emerging Pathogens Laboratory, Fondation Mérieux, Centre International de Recherche en Infectiologie, INSERM U1111, CNRS UMR5308, ENS de Lyon, UCBL1, 21, Avenue Tony Garnier, Lyon, 69007, France. 
  •  2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0146978. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146978. eCollection 2016.

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