Starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Fiebig 1 acute HIV infection limits the size of viral reservoirs in lymphoid tissues, but does not impact time to virus rebound during a treatment interruption. To better understand why the reduced reservoir size did not increase the time to rebound we measured the frequency and location of HIV RNA+ cells in lymph nodes from participants in the RV254 acute infection cohort. HIV RNA+ cells were detected more frequently and in greater numbers when ART was initiated in Fiebig 1 compared to later Fiebig stages and were localized to the T-cell zone compared to the B-cell follicle with treatment in later Fiebig stages. Variability of virus production in people treated during acute infection suggests that the balance between virus-producing cells and the immune response to clear infected cells rapidly evolves during the earliest stages of infection. Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02919306.
Keywords: HIV reservoir; acute HIV infection; antiretroviral therapy; in situ hybridization; lymphoid tissues.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.