What are the expected patterns of viral loads in vertically acquired HIV infection in infants?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Initial infection is associated with high viral loads, especially in the neonate. In adults and adolescents with nonvertically acquired infections, the viral load rapidly decreases 6-12 months after the primary viremia. Neonates have high viral loads that persist throughout infancy; therefore, these values are hard to interpret in the first year of life. In children with vertically acquired infections, the load slowly declines after 1 year of age. The predictive value of specific HIV RNA concentrations for disease progression and death for an individual child in the first year of life is moderate.

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