Antiretroviral therapy in acute and recent HIV infection: A prospective multicenter stratified trial of intentionally interrupted treatment

Paul Volberding, Lisa Demeter, Ronald J. Bosch, Evgenia Aga, Carla Pettinelli, Martin Hirsch, Mary Vogler, Ana Martinez, Susan Little, Elizabeth Connick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Background: Antiretroviral therapy in early HIV infection may enhance outcome and viral control may be better in acute versus recent infection 24 weeks after treatment interruption. Methods: A prospective trial of treatment stratified by acute versus recent HIV-1 infection. If HIV viral load <50 copies/ml after at least 52 weeks, treatment was interrupted. If viremia rebounded, treatment and interruption were repeated. The primary endpoint was maintaining viral load less than 5000 copies/ml for 24 weeks following treatment interruption. Results: Of the 121 patients enrolled at 15 sites, ninety-five percent were men, median age was 34 years; 69% were white. Median viral load was higher in acute HIV-1 infection (210 000 copies/ml) than recent HIV-1 infection (43 000 copies/ml). The 73 primary endpoint patients (28 acute HIV-1 infection, 45 recent HIV-1 infection) had significantly higher baseline CD4+ T-cell counts (P = 0.044) and lower viral load (P = 0.016). The primary endpoint was achieved in 29 (40%) of the 73 and in 24% of the 121 enrolled overall. There was no significant outcome difference (P = 0.81) between the acute HIV-1 infection [43%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 24-63%] and recent HIV-1 infection (38%, 95% CI 24-53%) groups. Differences after longer follow-up can not be ascertained by this trial. Baseline viral load less than 100 000/ml 22/46 (48%) compared with more than 100 000/ml, 7/27 (26%) and higher baseline CD4 + immune activation predicted success. Conclusion: Forty percent of patients treated during acute HIV-1 infection or recent HIV-1 infection sustained a viral load less than 5000 copies/ml after 24 weeks of treatment interruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1987-1995
Number of pages9
Issue number15
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute HIV infection
  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Primary HIV infection
  • Recent HIV infection
  • Treatment interruption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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