The presence of quantifiable HIV RNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during antiretroviral therapy (ART) can associate with central nervous system (CNS) pathology, but the significance of RNA detected below the limit of quantification (LOQ) on a standard assay during ART remains unknown. We compared CNS parameters between individuals with CSF RNA detected below the LOQ (20 copies/mL) with those with HIV RNA not detected. Detection of CSF HIV RNA associated with decreased blood-brain barrier integrity and with decreased executive function, but not with CNS immune activation or poorer performance in overall neuropsychological testing.
Keywords: HIV; antiretroviral therapy; blood–brain barrier; viral persistence.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.