Decay of the HIV reservoir in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy for extended periods: implications for eradication of virus

J Infect Dis. 2007 Jun 15;195(12):1762-4. doi: 10.1086/518250. Epub 2007 May 2.


The persistence of latently infected resting CD4+ T cells has been clearly demonstrated in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals receiving effective antiviral therapy. However, estimates of the half-life of this viral reservoir have been quite divergent. We demonstrate clear evidence for decay of this HIV reservoir in patients who initiated antiviral therapy early in infection. The half-life of this latent viral reservoir was estimated to be 4.6 months. It is projected that it will take up to 7.7 years of continuous therapy to completely eliminate latently infected resting CD4+ T cells in infected individuals who initiate antiviral therapy early in HIV infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • HIV / drug effects*
  • HIV / isolation & purification
  • HIV / physiology
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Viral Load
  • Virus Latency / drug effects
  • Virus Latency / physiology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Anti-HIV Agents