Resistance to HIV Infection

J Urban Health. 2006 Jan;83(1):5-17. doi: 10.1007/s11524-005-9003-8.


The biological correlates of an effective immune response that could contain or prevent HIV infection remain elusive despite substantial scientific accomplishments in understanding the interactions among the virus, the individual and the community. The observation that some individuals appear to possess resistance to HIV infection or its consequences has generated a host of epidemiologic investigations to identify biological or behavioral characteristics of these individuals. These data might hold the keys to developing appropriate strategies for mimicking the effective responses of those who appear immune. In this paper we review genetic mechanisms including the role of chemokines and their receptors, cytokines, host genetic immune response to HIV infection, local immune response correlating with behavioral variables, co-infection and immune based mechanisms that have been elucidated so far. We offer suggestions for how to use these observations as platforms for future research to further understand natural resistance to HIV infection through cohort studies, population genotype sampling, mathematical modeling of virus-host interactions and behavioral analyses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemokines / genetics
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Flaviviridae Infections / virology
  • GB virus C / immunology
  • HIV Infections / genetics
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1*
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Interleukins / immunology
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics
  • Sex Work


  • Chemokines
  • HLA Antigens
  • Interleukins
  • Receptors, Chemokine