Viral phenotype and T cell reactivity in human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected asymptomatic men treated with zidovudine

J Infect Dis. 1993 Sep;168(3):733-6. doi: 10.1093/infdis/168.3.733.


The effect of zidovudine on disease progression in asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected men (n = 52) in relation to CD4 T cell numbers, T cell reactivity, and HIV-1 biologic phenotype was studied in a double-blind randomized trial over 2 years. CD4+ cell numbers and T cell reactivity did not differ significantly between the zidovudine- and placebo-treated groups, except for a transient improvement of both parameters in the zidovudine-treated group during the first 9 months. A marked differential efficacy of zidovudine was observed depending on the HIV-1 phenotype present. Zidovudine did not prevent the emergence of high-replicating syncytium-inducing (SI) variants, and clinical progression was observed in persons with SI variants despite zidovudine treatment. In contrast to nontreated HIV-1-infected asymptomatic persons, zidovudine-treated men who did not develop SI variants did not progress to AIDS. The beneficial effect of zidovudine during the asymptomatic phase may be mainly limited to persons who do not develop SI variants in the course of HIV-1 infection.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / etiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Genetic Variation
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Seropositivity / drug therapy
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zidovudine / therapeutic use*


  • Zidovudine