What causes HIV viremia, and how long does it take for viral loads to diminish in pediatric HIV infection?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Acute infection rapidly increases the viral load and causes a mild-to-moderate viremia. Although viral loads tend to diminish rapidly after acute infection in adults, they decrease slowly in vertically infected children and may not reach baseline levels until age 4-5 years. Although infants possess numerous antigen-presenting and effector cells compared with adults, their cytokine production, proliferation, and cytotoxicity are reduced.


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