HIV-1 dynamics in children

Ann J. Melvin, Allen G. Rodrigo, Kathleen M. Mohan, Paul A. Lewis, Laura Manns-Arcuino, Robert W. Coombs, James I. Mullins, Lisa M. Frenkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


HIV-1-infected children have higher plasma viral loads and progress to disease more quickly than infected adults. To gain insight into the accelerated pathogenesis of HIV-1 in children, viral dynamics were measured following the initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and compared with those reported for adults. A biphasic decline in plasma HIV-1 RNA was observed, with a rapid decrease during the first 1 to 2 weeks of therapy (phase I) followed by a slower decline (phase II). The phase I and II decay rates were not significantly different among children of different ages, pretherapy plasma HIV-1 RNA levels, or CD4 cell counts. Estimated phase I decay rates were similar to those previously reported in adults with a mean of 0.43 days-1 and a half-life of 1.6 days. The phase II decay rates were slower in children compared with adults with a mean of 0.016 days-1 versus 0.066 days-1, and a half-life of 43.3 versus 14.1 days, respectively (p <.05). The mean time required to reach vital levels below detection thresholds was also longer in these children compared with that in adults. These data suggest that HIV-1 dynamics may be different in children, and that these differences may necessitate different treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-473
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 15 1999


  • Pediatrics
  • Viral dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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