Studies have identified a potent CD4 T helper (Th) cell response in some infected people, and have shown a correlation between virus-specific Th cells and low levels of viremia. Early institution of potent antiviral therapy in the earliest stages of acute HIV infection have led to strong Th cell responses, analogous to those seen in people who are able to control viremia in the absence of antiviral therapy. This may be because potent antiviral therapy is able to protect virus-specific Th cells as they become activated, and thus these cells are not lost in the earliest stages of infection. This study will characterize the immune response of patients with acute HIV infection who receive antiretroviral therapy and will determine the effects of interruption of therapy in those people who have immune responses to HIV that are similar to patients with long-term non-progressing infection.
Participants in this study will be followed through June 2004. Study visits vary from only once to every month and are scheduled at the discretion of the study officials. Study visits include an interview and blood tests.