Different stages of HIV infection are marked by expression of HIV genes, production of HIV antibodies, formation of antigen/antibody complexes and clearance of such complexes. Transient HIV antigenemia appearing generally 6-8 weeks prior to HIV antibody (HIV-Ab) seroconversion and lasting 3-4 months is generally seen in acute infection. If IgG antibodies to both envelope and core protein persist in the absence of HIV-Ag the short-term prognosis is relatively good. However, HIV-Ag seroconversion may appear at any time after HIV-Ab seroconversion. Progression to AIDS is strongly associated with declining or absent levels of IgG antibodies to p24. Titers of antibodies to HIV p24 below 64 are strongly associated with the presence of HIV antigen and a poor clinical outcome. HIV antigen may be less efficiently detected with the present assays in sera from regions where the prototype strains of HIV (HTLV-III and LAV) are less prevalent, like Central Africa. Levels of HIV-Ag in serum, and possibly in CSF, can be decreased by nucleoside analogues, like AZT. This indicates HIV-Ag and possibly antibody to HIV core protein p24 as suitable markers for selecting individuals for antiviral therapy as well as monitoring the efficacy of such therapy.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 1988|