A model for AIDS pathogenesis

Stat Med. 1994 Oct;13(19-20):2067-79. doi: 10.1002/sim.4780131916.


The idea is put forward and analysed numerically, that within an infected person HIV evolves to increase its reproductivity within the population of CD4+ cells. A mathematical model predicts initial viremia and CD4+ cell drop after HIV infection and thereafter a slow progressive decline in the number of CD4+ cells, although for an extended period HIV is kept at a relatively low level by an active immune response. The time span T until the number of CD4+ cells falls below 20 per cent of its normal value depends on several model parameters. Assuming Gaussian distributions for these parameters, the model predicts a distribution function for T which resembles the observed distribution function for the incubation period to AIDS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Binding Sites, Antibody
  • CD4 Antigens
  • Disease Progression
  • HIV Infections / genetics
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / physiology
  • Lymphopenia / immunology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Mutation / immunology
  • Poisson Distribution
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Time Factors
  • Viremia
  • Virus Latency / immunology*
  • Virus Replication / immunology


  • CD4 Antigens