Medical Insights into the Mechanisms and Administration of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) An infection: A Complete Examination of the Virus, its Impression on the Immune System, and Present Therapeutic Approaches
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the reason for acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Each HIV-1 and HIV-2 trigger AIDS, however HIV-1 is discovered
worldwide, whereas HIV-2 is discovered primarily in West Africa.
This chapter refers to HIV-1 except in any other case famous.
HIV is likely one of the two essential human T-cell lymphotropic
retroviruses (human T-cell leukemia virus is the opposite). HIV
preferentially infects and kills helper (CD4) T lymphocytes,
ensuing within the lack of cell-mediated immunity and a excessive
likelihood that the host will develop opportunistic infections.
Different cells (e.g., macrophages and monocytes) which have CD4
proteins on their surfaces could be contaminated additionally.
HIV belongs to the lentivirus subgroup of retroviruses,
which trigger “sluggish” infections with lengthy incubation durations
(see Chapter 44). HIV has a cylinder-shaped (sort D) core sur-
rounded by an envelope containing virus-specific glycoproteins
(gp120 and gp41) (Figures 45–1 and 45–2). The genome of HIV
consists of two similar molecules of single-stranded, positive-
polarity RNA and is claimed to be diploid. (Notice that this isn’t
double-stranded RNA, which consists of 1 constructive strand
and one unfavourable strand.)
The HIV genome is essentially the most advanced of the recognized retro-
viruses (Determine 45–3). Along with the three typical retroviral
genes gag, pol, and env, which encode the structural proteins,
the genome RNA has six regulatory genes (Desk 45–1). Two of
these regulatory genes, tat and rev, are required for replication,
and the opposite 4, nef, vif, vpr, and vpu, usually are not required for
replication and are termed “accent” genes.
The gag gene encodes the inner “core” proteins, essentially the most
essential of which is the p24 protein. It will be significant medically
as it’s the antigen within the preliminary serologic take a look at that determines
whether or not the affected person has antibody to HIV (i.e., has been contaminated
with HIV). (See “Laboratory Prognosis” part on this chapter.)
The pol gene encodes a number of proteins, together with the virion
“reverse transcriptase,” which synthesizes DNA by utilizing the
genome RNA as a template, an integrase that integrates the viral
DNA into the mobile DNA, and a protease that cleaves the
FIGURE 45–2 Cross-section of human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV). Within the inside, two molecules of viral RNA are proven associ-
ated with reverse transcriptase. Surrounding these buildings is a
rectangular nucleocapsid composed of p24 proteins. Notice that the
viral protease and integrase are additionally positioned throughout the nucleocap-
sid (along with the reverse transcriptase), however, for lack of area,
usually are not proven within the determine. On the outside are the 2 envelope
proteins, gp120 and gp41, that are embedded within the lipid bilayer
derived from the cell membrane. (Reproduced with permission from Inexperienced
WC. Mechanisms of illness: the molecular biology of human immunodeficiency
virus sort I an infection. N Engl J Med. 1991;324(5):309.)
5′ 3′ PROT POL H INT
VIF TAT VPU REV NEF
gag pol env
FIGURE 45–3 The genome of human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV). Above the road are the three genes for the principle structural
proteins: (1) gag encodes the inner group-specific antigens (e.g.,
p24); (2) pol encodes proteins which have 4 enzymatic actions:
protease (PROT), polymerase that features as a reverse transcrip-
tase (POL), RNase H (H), and integrase (INT); and (3) env encodes the
two envelope glycoproteins, gp120 and gp41. Under the road are
5 regulatory proteins: viral infectivity issue (VIF), transactivating
protein (TAT), viral protein U (VPU), regulator of expression of virion
protein (REV), and unfavourable regulatory issue (NEF). At each ends are
lengthy terminal repeats (LTR), that are transcription initiation websites.
Inside the 5’ LTR is the binding web site for the TAT protein, known as the
transactivation response factor (TAR). TAT enhances the initiation
and elongation of viral mRNA transcription. (*p24 and different smaller
proteins akin to p17 and p7 are encoded by the gag gene.)
varied viral precursor proteins. The env gene encodes gp160, a
precursor glycoprotein that’s cleaved to type the 2 envelope
(floor) glycoproteins, gp120 and gp41.
Variations within the base sequence of the gp120 gene are used
to subdivide HIV into subtypes known as clades. Completely different clades
are discovered in numerous areas of the world. For instance, the B
clade is the most typical subtype in North America. Subtype
B preferentially infects mononuclear cells and seems to be
handed readily throughout anal intercourse, whereas subtype E preferentially
infects feminine genital tract cells and seems to be handed read-
ily throughout vaginal intercourse. Notice that these clades (e.g., B and E) are
subtypes of group M (Main), by far the most typical group
of HIV-1 worldwide.
Three enzymes are positioned throughout the nucleocapsid of the virion:
reverse transcriptase, integrase, and protease (see Determine 45–2).
Reverse transcriptase is the RNA-dependent DNA poly-
merase that’s the supply of the household identify retroviruses. This
enzyme transcribes the RNA genome into the proviral DNA.
Reverse transcriptase is a bifunctional enzyme; it additionally has ribo-
nuclease H exercise. Ribonuclease H degrades RNA when it’s in
the type of an RNA–DNA hybrid molecule. The degradation of
the viral RNA genome is a necessary step within the synthesis of the
double-stranded proviral DNA. Integrase, one other essential
enzyme throughout the virion, mediates the combination of the provi-
ral DNA into the host cell DNA. The viral protease cleaves the
precursor polyproteins into practical viral polypeptides.
One important regulatory gene is the tat (transactivation of
gene, which encodes a protein that enhances
viral (and maybe mobile) gene transcription.
The Tat protein and one other HIV-encoded regulatory pro-
tein known as Nef repress the synthesis of sophistication I main histocom-
patibility advanced (MHC) proteins, thereby decreasing the flexibility
of cytotoxic T cells to kill HIV-infected cells. The opposite important
regulatory gene, rev, controls the passage of late mRNA from the
nucleus into the cytoplasm. The perform of the 4 accent
genes is described in Desk 45–1.
The accent protein Vif (viral infectivity) enhances HIV
infectivity by inhibiting the motion of APOBEC3G, an enzyme
that causes hypermutation in retroviral DNA. APOBEC3G is
“apolipoprotein B RNA-editing enzyme” that deaminates cyto-
sines in each mRNA and retroviral DNA, thereby inactivating
these molecules and decreasing infectivity. APOBEC3G is con-
sidered to be an essential member of the innate host defenses
towards retroviral an infection. HIV defends itself towards this
innate host protection by producing Vif, which counteracts APO-
BEC3G, thereby stopping hypermutation from occurring.
There are a number of essential antigens of HIV:
(1) gp120 and gp41 are the type-specific envelope glycopro-
teins. gp120 protrudes from the floor and interacts with the
CD4 receptor (and a second protein, a chemokine receptor) on
the cell floor. gp41 is embedded within the envelope and mediates
the fusion of the viral envelope with the cell membrane on the
time of an infection. The gene that encodes gp120 mutates quickly,
leading to many antigenic variants. Essentially the most immunogenic
area of gp120 is known as the V3 loop; it is likely one of the websites that
varies antigenically to a big diploma. Antibody towards
gp120 neutralizes the infectivity of HIV, however the speedy appear-
ance of gp120 variants has made manufacturing of an efficient vac-
cine tough. The excessive mutation fee could also be resulting from lack of an
enhancing perform within the reverse transcriptase.
(2) The group-specific antigen, p24, is positioned within the nucleo-
capsid core and isn’t recognized to range. Antibodies towards p24 do
not neutralize HIV infectivity however function essential serologic
markers of an infection.
The pure host vary of HIV is restricted to people,
though sure primates could be contaminated within the laboratory. HIV
will not be an endogenous virus of people (i.e., no HIV sequences
are present in regular human cell DNA). The origin of HIV
and the way it entered the human inhabitants stays unsure.
There’s proof that chimpanzees dwelling in West Africa had been
the supply of HIV-1. If chimpanzees are the supply of HIV in
people, it will be a superb instance of a virus “leaping the
Along with HIV-1, two different comparable retroviruses are wor-
thy of remark:
(1) Human immunodeficiency virus sort 2 (HIV-2) was iso-
lated from AIDS sufferers in West Africa in 1986. The proteins
of HIV-2 are solely about 40% similar to these of the unique
HIV isolates. HIV-2 stays localized primarily to West Africa
and is way much less transmissible than HIV-1. HIV-2 is intently
associated to a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) from a spe-
cies of monkey known as sooty mangabey. Unintentional an infection of a
individual with SIVsmm is regarded as the origin of HIV-2.
(2) SIVs have been remoted from varied nonhuman pri-
mates akin to monkeys and chimpanzees (SIVcpz). SIVs trigger
persistent an infection in these species and are regarded as the
supply of HIV in people by way of unintended inoculation with blood
of the nonprimate. For instance, the genome RNA of HIV-1 is
intently associated to that SIVcpz. In contrast to HIV in people, SIV
an infection in nonhuman primates is usually asymptomatic. How-
ever, an AIDS-like sickness brought on by SIVcpz does happen in some
Abstract of Replicative Cycle
Usually, the replication of HIV follows the standard retroviral
cycle (Determine 45–4). The preliminary step within the entry of HIV into
the cell is the binding of the virion gp120 envelope protein to the
CD4 protein on the cell floor. The virion gp120 protein then
interacts with a second protein on the cell floor, one of many
chemokine receptors. Subsequent, the virion gp41 protein mediates
fusion of the viral envelope with the cell membrane, and the
virion core containing the nucleocapsid, RNA genome, and
reverse transcriptase enters the cytoplasm.
Chemokine receptors, akin to CXCR4 and CCR5 proteins,
are required for the entry of HIV into CD4-positive cells.
The T cell-tropic strains of HIV bind to CXCR4, whereas the
macrophage-tropic strains bind to CCR5. Mutations within the gene
encoding CCR5 endow the person with safety from
an infection with HIV. People who find themselves homozygotes are utterly
immune to an infection, and heterozygotes progress to illness
extra slowly. Roughly 1% of individuals of Western European
ancestry have homozygous mutations on this gene, and about
10% to fifteen% are heterozygotes. Among the best-characterized
mutations is the delta-32 mutation, wherein 32 base pairs are
deleted from the CCR5 gene.
Within the cytoplasm, reverse transcriptase transcribes the
genome RNA into double-stranded DNA, which migrates to
the nucleus, the place it integrates into the host cell DNA. The viral
DNA can combine at totally different websites within the host cell DNA, and
a number of copies of viral DNA can combine. Integration is medi-
ated by a virus-encoded endonuclease (integrase). Viral mRNA
is transcribed from the built-in (proviral) DNA by host cell
RNA polymerase (augmented by virus-encoded Tat protein)
and translated into a number of giant polyproteins. The Gag and Pol
polyproteins are cleaved by the viral protease, whereas the Env
polyprotein is cleaved by a mobile protease.
The Gag polyprotein is cleaved to type the principle core protein
(p24), the matrix protein (p17), and several other smaller proteins.
The Pol polyprotein is cleaved to type the reverse transcriptase,
integrase, and protease. The immature virion containing the
precursor polyproteins kinds within the cytoplasm, and cleavage
by the viral protease happens because the immature virion buds from
the cell membrane. It’s this cleavage course of that ends in the
mature, infectious virion.
Notice that HIV replication depends on cell proteins as
properly as viral proteins. First, there are the cell proteins required
in the course of the early occasions, particularly, CD4, and the chemokine
receptors, CCR5 and CXCR4. Cell proteins, akin to actin and
tubulin, are concerned with the motion of viral DNA into
the nucleus. The cell protein cyclin T1 and the viral protein
Tat are a part of the advanced that transcribes viral mRNA. Cell
proteins are additionally concerned within the budding course of by which the
virus exits the cell.
Transmission & Epidemiology
Transmission of HIV happens primarily by sexual contact and by
switch of contaminated blood. Perinatal transmission from contaminated
mom to neonate additionally happens, both throughout the placenta, at
start, or by way of breast milk. It’s estimated that greater than 50% of
neonatal infections happen on the time of supply and that the
the rest is break up roughly equally between transplacental trans-
mission and transmission by way of breast feeding. There isn’t a evi-
dence for airborne, waterborne, or insect transmission of HIV.
An infection happens by the switch of both HIV-infected cells
or free HIV (i.e., HIV that isn’t cell-associated). Though
small quantities of virus have been present in different fluids (e.g.,
saliva and tears), there isn’t a proof that they play a task in
an infection. Usually, transmission of HIV follows the sample
of hepatitis B virus (HBV), besides that HIV an infection is way
much less effectively transferred (i.e., the dose of HIV required to
trigger an infection is way larger than that of HBV). Folks with
sexually transmitted ailments, particularly these with ulcerative
lesions akin to syphilis, chancroid, and herpes genitalis, have a
considerably larger threat of buying HIV. Uncircumcised males
have the next threat of buying HIV than do circumcised males.
Transmission of HIV by way of blood transfusion has been drastically
lowered by screening donated blood for the presence of anti-
physique to HIV. Nevertheless, there’s a “window” interval early in
an infection when the blood of an contaminated individual can include
HIV however antibodies usually are not detectable. Blood banks now take a look at
for the presence of p24 antigen in an effort to detect blood that
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC)
estimates that on the finish of 2015, there have been roughly
1.1 million individuals contaminated with HIV dwelling in the USA.
The transmission fee has declined markedly, primarily resulting from
elevated prevention efforts and improved therapies for HIV;
the latter reduces the variety of individuals with excessive titers of HIV.
CDC estimates that roughly 50,000 new infections happen
annually. CDC additionally estimates that 15% of those that are contaminated
with HIV have no idea it as a result of they haven’t been examined.
Roughly 630,000 individuals have died of AIDS within the
United States since 1981, when AIDS was first acknowledged.
As of 2016, it’s estimated that roughly 37 million
individuals worldwide are contaminated, two-thirds of whom reside in sub-
Saharan Africa. Three areas, Africa, Asia, and Latin America,
have the very best charges of recent infections. AIDS is the fourth lead-
ing reason behind loss of life worldwide. (Ischemic coronary heart illness, cerebro-
vascular illness, and acute decrease respiratory illness are ranked
first, second, and third, respectively.)
In the USA and Europe in the course of the Eighties, HIV infec-
tion and AIDS occurred primarily in males who’ve intercourse with
males (particularly these with a number of companions), intravenous drug
customers, and hemophiliacs. Heterosexual transmission was uncommon in
these areas within the Eighties however is now rising considerably. Het-
erosexual transmission is the predominant mode of an infection in
African international locations.
Only a few healthcare personnel have been contaminated regardless of
persevering with publicity and needle-stick accidents, supporting the
view that the infectious dose of HIV is excessive. The danger of being
contaminated after percutaneous publicity to HIV-infected blood
is estimated to be about 0.3%. The transmission of HIV from
healthcare personnel to sufferers is exceedingly uncommon.
Pathogenesis & Immunity
HIV infects helper T cells (CD4-positive cells) and kills them,
leading to suppression of cell-mediated immunity. This pre-
disposes the host to numerous opportunistic infections and sure
cancers akin to Kaposi’s sarcoma and lymphoma. HIV doesn’t
instantly trigger these tumors as a result of HIV genes usually are not present in
these most cancers cells. The preliminary an infection of the genital tract happens
in dendritic cells that line the mucosa (Langerhans’ cells), after
which the native CD4-positive helper T cells change into contaminated.
HIV is first discovered within the blood 4 to 11 days after an infection.
HIV an infection additionally targets a subset of CD4-positive cells known as
Th17 cells. These cells are an essential mediator of mucosal
immunity, particularly within the gastrointestinal tract. Many mucosal
Th17 cells are killed early in HIV an infection. Th17 cells produce
interleukin-17 (IL-17), which attracts neutrophils to the positioning
of bacterial an infection. The lack of Th17 cells predisposes HIV-
contaminated people to bloodstream infections by micro organism within the
regular flora of the colon, akin to Escherichia coli.
HIV additionally infects mind monocytes and macrophages, produc-
ing multinucleated large cells and vital central nervous
system signs. The fusion of HIV-infected cells within the mind
and elsewhere mediated by gp41 is likely one of the essential pathologic
findings. The cells recruited into the syncytia finally die.
The loss of life of HIV-infected cells can be the results of immuno-
logic assault by cytotoxic CD8 lymphocytes. Effectiveness of the
cytotoxic T cells could also be restricted by the flexibility of the viral Tat and
Nef proteins to scale back class I MHC protein synthesis (see later).
One other mechanism hypothesized to clarify the loss of life
of helper T cells is that HIV acts as a “superantigen,” which
indiscriminately prompts many helper T cells and results in
their demise. The discovering that one member of the retrovirus
household, mouse mammary tumor virus, can act as a superanti-
gen lends assist to this principle. Superantigens are described
in Chapter 58.
Persistent noncytopathic an infection of T lymphocytes additionally
happens. Persistently contaminated cells proceed to supply HIV,
which can assist maintain the an infection in vivo. Lymphoid tissue
(e.g., lymph nodes) is the principle web site of ongoing HIV an infection.
As well as, a real latent an infection can happen wherein no
HIV is produced. This happens in resting CD4-positive reminiscence
T cells inside which an built-in HIV genome is discovered. The
latent interval can final for months to years, but when the resting cell
is activated, HIV could be produced. HIV replication will depend on
host cell transcription elements made in activated, however not resting,
An individual contaminated with HIV is taken into account to be contaminated
for all times. This appears prone to be the results of integration of
viral DNA into the DNA of contaminated cells. Though the use
of highly effective antiviral medicine (see “Therapy” part later) can
considerably scale back the quantity of HIV being produced, the
silent, latent an infection in CD4-positive reminiscence T cells could be
activated and function a seamless supply of virus.
Elite controllers are a uncommon group of HIV-infected individuals
(lower than 1% of these contaminated) who haven’t any detectable HIV
of their blood. Their CD4 counts are regular with out utilizing
antiretroviral medicine. The flexibility to be an elite controller does
not rely upon gender, race, or mode of acquisition of the virus.
Though the mechanism is unclear, there may be proof that
sure HLA alleles are protecting and that an inhibitor of the
cyclin-dependent kinase referred to as p21 performs an essential position.
As well as, there’s a group of HIV-infected people who
have lived for a few years with out opportunistic infections and
and not using a discount within the variety of their helper T (CD4) cells.
The pressure of HIV remoted from these people has mutations
within the nef gene, indicating the significance of this gene in patho-
genesis. The Nef protein decreases class I MHC protein synthe-
sis, and the lack of the mutant virus to supply practical
Nef protein permits the cytotoxic T cells to retain their exercise.
One other reason some HIV-infected people
are long-term “nonprogressors” might lie of their capacity to pro-
duce giant quantities of α-defensins. α-Defensins are a household of
positively charged peptides with antibacterial exercise that additionally
have antiviral exercise. They intervene with HIV binding to the
CXCR4 receptor and block entry of the virus into the cell.
Along with the detrimental results on T cells, abnormali-
ties of B cells happen. Polyclonal activation of B cells is seen, with
resultant excessive immunoglobulin ranges. Autoimmune ailments,
akin to thrombocytopenia, happen.
The principle immune response to HIV an infection consists of
cytotoxic CD8-positive lymphocytes. These cells reply to
the preliminary an infection and management it for a few years. Mutants of
HIV, particularly within the env gene encoding gp120, come up, however new
clones of cytotoxic T cells proliferate and management the mutant
pressure. It’s the final failure of those cytotoxic T cells that
ends in the medical image of AIDS. Cytotoxic T cells lose
their effectiveness as a result of so many CD4 helper T cells have
died; thus, the provision of lymphokines, akin to interleukin-2
(IL-2), required to activate the cytotoxic T cells is now not
There’s proof that “escape” mutants of HIV are in a position to
proliferate unchecked as a result of the affected person has no clone of cyto-
poisonous T cells able to responding to the mutant pressure. Fur-
thermore, mutations in any of the genes encoding class I MHC
proteins end in a extra speedy development to medical AIDS.
The mutant class I MHC proteins can’t current HIV epitopes,
which leads to cytotoxic T cells being incapable of recognizing
and destroying HIV-infected cells.
Antibodies towards varied HIV proteins, akin to p24, gp120,
and gp41, are produced, however they neutralize the virus poorly in
vivo and seem to have little impact on the course of the illness.
HIV has three essential mechanisms by which it evades the
immune system: (1) integration of viral DNA into host cell
DNA, leading to a persistent an infection; (2) a excessive fee of muta-
tion of the env gene; and (3) the manufacturing of the Tat and Nef
proteins that downregulate class I MHC proteins required for
cytotoxic T cells to acknowledge and kill HIV-infected cells. The
capacity of HIV to contaminate and kill CD4-positive helper T cells fur-
ther enhances its capability to keep away from destruction by the immune
The medical image of HIV an infection could be divided into three
levels: an early, acute stage; a center, latent stage; and a late,
immunodeficiency stage (Determine 45–5). Within the acute stage,
which normally begins 2 to 4 weeks after an infection, a mononucle-
osis-like image of fever, lethargy, sore throat, and generalized
lymphadenopathy happens. A maculopapular rash on the trunk,
arms, and legs (however sparing the palms and soles) can be seen.
Leukopenia happens, however the variety of CD4 cells is normally
regular. A high-level viremia sometimes happens, and the an infection
is instantly transmissible throughout this acute stage. This acute stage
sometimes resolves spontaneously in about 2 weeks. Decision of
the acute stage is normally accompanied by a decrease stage of vire-
mia and an increase within the variety of CD8-positive (cytotoxic) T cells
directed towards HIV.
Antibodies to HIV sometimes seem 10 to 14 days after infec-
tion, and most sufferers may have seroconverted by 3 to 4 weeks
after an infection. Notice that the lack to detect antibodies prior
to that point may end up in “false-negative” serologic assessments (i.e., the
individual is contaminated, however antibodies usually are not detectable on the time
of the take a look at). This has essential implications as a result of HIV could be
transmitted to others throughout this era. If the antibody take a look at is
unfavourable however HIV an infection remains to be suspected, then a polymerase
chain response (PCR)-based assay for viral RNA within the plasma
needs to be carried out.
Of those that change into seropositive in the course of the acute infec-
tion, roughly 87% are symptomatic (i.e., about 13% expe-
rience an asymptomatic preliminary an infection).
After the preliminary viremia, a viral set level happens, which may
differ from one individual to a different. The set level represents the
quantity of virus produced (i.e., the viral load) and tends to
stay “set,” or fixed, for years. The upper the set level at
the tip of the preliminary an infection, the extra possible the person
is to progress to symptomatic AIDS. It’s estimated that an
contaminated individual can produce as much as 10 billion new virions every
day. This viral load could be estimated by utilizing an assay for viral
RNA within the affected person’s plasma. (The assay detects the RNA in free
virions within the plasma, not cell-associated virions.)
The quantity of viral RNA serves to information therapy selections
and the prognosis. For instance, if a drug routine fails to scale back
the viral load, the medicine needs to be modified. So far as the prog-
nosis is worried, a affected person with greater than 10,000 copies of
viral RNA/mL of plasma is considerably extra prone to progress
to AIDS than a affected person with fewer than 10,000 copies.
The variety of CD4-positive T cells is one other essential
measure that guides the administration of contaminated sufferers. It’s
used to find out whether or not a affected person wants chemoprophylaxis
towards opportunistic organisms, to find out whether or not a affected person
wants anti-HIV remedy, and to find out the response to this
remedy. The decrease restrict of CD4 rely thought of as regular is
500 cells/μL. Folks with this stage or larger are normally asymp-
tomatic. The frequency and severity of opportunistic infections
considerably enhance when the CD4 counts fall beneath 200/μL. A
CD4 rely of 200/μL or beneath is an AIDS-defining situation.
Within the center stage of HIV an infection, a protracted latent interval,
measured in years, normally ensues. In untreated sufferers, the
latent interval sometimes lasts for 7 to 11 years. The affected person is
asymptomatic throughout this era. Though the affected person is
asymptomatic and viremia is low or absent, a big quantity
of HIV is being produced by lymph node cells however stays
sequestered throughout the lymph nodes. This means that in
this era of medical latency, the virus itself doesn’t enter a
A syndrome known as AIDS-related advanced (ARC) can happen
in the course of the latent interval. Essentially the most frequent manifestations are
persistent fevers, fatigue, weight reduction, and lymphadenopathy.
ARC typically progresses to AIDS.
The late stage of HIV an infection is AIDS, manifested by a
decline within the variety of CD4 cells to beneath 200/μL and an
enhance within the frequency and severity of opportunistic infections.
Desk 45–2 describes a number of the widespread opportunistic infec-
tions and their causative organisms seen in HIV-infected sufferers
in the course of the late, immunocompromised stage of the an infection.
The 2 most attribute manifestations of AIDS are
Pneumocystis pneumonia and Kaposi’s sarcoma. Nevertheless, many
different opportunistic infections happen with some frequency.
These embody viral infections akin to disseminated herpes
simplex, herpes zoster, and cytomegalovirus infections and
progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy; fungal infections
akin to thrush (brought on by Candida albicans), cryptococcal men-
ingitis, and disseminated histoplasmosis; protozoal infections
akin to toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis; and disseminated
bacterial infections akin to these brought on by Mycobacterium
avium-intracellulare and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Many
AIDS sufferers have extreme neurologic issues (e.g., dementia
and neuropathy), which could be brought on by both HIV an infection
of the mind or by many of those opportunistic organisms.
The prognosis of early HIV-1 and HIV-2 an infection is made by
utilizing immunoassays that detect each HIV antibodies and p24
antigen in serum. This mix (“Combo”) take a look at is beneficial
for the prognosis of early infections as a result of p24 antigen is typi-
cally detectable earlier in an infection than antibody (Determine 45–6).
Specimens constructive within the Combo take a look at proceed to an antibody
take a look at to tell apart HIV-1 from HIV-2 and to a PCR-based take a look at
(nucleic acid amplification take a look at, NAT) to detect viral RNA.
OraQuick is a speedy, screening immunoassay for HIV anti-
physique that makes use of an oral swab pattern in an enzyme-linked immu-
nosorbent assay (ELISA)-type take a look at that may be carried out at dwelling.
As a result of there are some false-positive assessments with oral specimens
and dried blood spots, a Western blot (immunoblot) take a look at is per-
fashioned on constructive specimens. Determine 64–9 depicts a Western
blot (immunoblot) take a look at used to diagnose HIV an infection.
After HIV an infection has been established, the quantity of viral
RNA within the plasma (i.e., the viral load) will also be decided
utilizing PCR-based assays. The quantity of viral RNA is used to
information therapy selections and to foretell the danger of development
Different laboratory assessments which can be essential within the administration
of an HIV-infected individual embody CD4 cell counts and assessments for
drug resistance of the pressure of HIV infecting the affected person. Drug
resistance assessments are described on the finish of the “Therapy” sec-
tion on this chapter. HIV could be grown in tradition from medical
specimens, however this process is accessible solely at a couple of medical
The therapy of HIV an infection has resulted in a outstanding
discount in mortality and enchancment within the high quality of lifetime of
contaminated people. The 2 particular objectives of therapy are (1)
to revive immunologic perform by growing the CD4 rely,
which reduces opportunistic infections and sure malignan-
cies and (2) to scale back viral load, which reduces the possibility of
transmission to others. There’s proof that beginning drug
remedy as quickly as doable after making the prognosis of HIV
an infection is the easiest way to attain these objectives.
Sadly, no drug routine ends in a “remedy” (i.e.,
eradicates the virus from the physique), however long-term suppres-
sion could be achieved. Nevertheless, if medicine are stopped, the virus
resumes lively replication, and enormous quantities of infectious virus
Therapy of HIV an infection sometimes entails a number of anti-
retroviral medicine. The usage of a single drug (monotherapy) for
therapy will not be carried out due to the excessive fee of mutation to
The selection of medicine is advanced and will depend on a number of
elements (e.g., whether or not it’s an preliminary an infection or a longtime
an infection, the variety of CD4 cells, the viral load, the resistance
sample of the virus, and whether or not the affected person is pregnant or is
coinfected with HBV or hepatitis C virus [HCV]). Desk 45–3
describes the mechanism of motion of the medicine and their essential
antagonistic results. The variety of medicine and the varied deter-
mining elements talked about beforehand make describing all of the
therapies past the scope of this guide. The reader is suggested
to seek the advice of the Division of Well being and Human Companies Anti-
retroviral Remedy Pointers or different dependable sources, akin to
the Medical Letter.
As of 2016, the popular method to preliminary antiretroviral
remedy consists of one in all 4 regimens, all of which consist
of three or 4 medicine. Every routine consists of emtricitabine
and tenofovir (“the spine”), to which both efavirenz, ralte-
gravir, rilpivirine, or a mixture of two protease inhibitors
(both ritonavir plus atazanavir or ritonavir plus darunavir)
or a mixture of elvitegravir plus the enhancer cobicistat is
added. A single tablet given in once-a-day dosing improves com-
pliance, so quite a lot of these three- or four-drug mixtures
are actually out there in a single tablet formulation.
These mixtures are referred to as extremely lively antiretrovi-
ral remedy (HAART). HAART may be very efficient in prolonging
life, bettering high quality of life, and decreasing viral load however does
not remedy the continual HIV an infection (i.e., replication of HIV
inside CD4-positive cells continues indefinitely). Discontinu-
ation of HAART nearly all the time ends in viremia (a return of
the viral load to its pretreatment set level) and a fall within the CD4
Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Desk 45–3 describes six nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibi-
tors (abacavir, didanosine, emtricitabine, lamivudine, stavudine,
and zidovudine) and a single nucleotide reverse transcriptase
inhibitor (tenofovir). These medicine are characterised by not
having a 3′ hydroxyl group on the ribose ring and subsequently
are chain-terminating medicine. They inhibit HIV replication by
interfering with proviral DNA synthesis by reverse transcrip-
tase. They can’t remedy an contaminated cell of an already inte-
grated copy of proviral DNA. Further info on these
“nucleoside analogue” medicine and the opposite antiretroviral medicine
could be present in Chapter 35. Notice that zalcitabine (Hivid), an
NRTI analogue of cytosine, is now not out there.
Two essential issues restrict using NTRIs: the emergence
of resistance and antagonistic results. The principle antagonistic results are
described in Desk 45–3. For instance, the long-term use of
zidovudine (ZDV) is restricted by suppression of the bone mar-
row resulting in anemia and neutropenia. This hematotoxicity
is because of the inhibition of the mitochondrial DNA polymerase.
However, ZDV is utilized in postexposure prophylaxis and to
stop vertical transmission from mom to fetus. Lamivudine
and its analogue emtricitabine have the identical mechanism of
motion as ZDV however are higher tolerated, and one or one other is
a typical element of HAART. Abacavir can be generally
used. Sufferers who’ve an HLA-B1701 allele are extra possible
to have a extreme hypersensitivity response to abacavir. Sufferers
needs to be examined for this gene earlier than being prescribed abacavir.
Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Desk 45–3 describes 5 nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase
inhibitors (delavirdine, efavirenz, etravirine, nevirapine, and
rilpivirine) which can be efficient towards HIV. In contrast to the NRTIs,
these medicine usually are not base analogues. Efavirenz (Sustiva) and
nevirapine (Viramune) are essentially the most generally used medicine
on this class. Efavirenz is a typical element of HAART
regimens, particularly a single tablet containing efavirenz, tenofovir,
and emtricitabine (Atripla). Nevirapine is usually used to stop
vertical transmission of HIV from mom to fetus. Each nevi-
rapine and efavirenz may cause pores and skin rashes and Stevens-Johnson
syndrome. Rilpivirine is accessible as Odefsey, a hard and fast drug com-
bination containing emtricitabine and tenofovir.
Desk 45–3 describes the at present out there protease inhibitors
(amprenavir atazanavir, darunavir, fosamprenavir, indinavir,
nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, tipranavir, and a mixture
of lopinavir and ritonavir). Protease inhibitors, when mixed
with nucleoside analogues, are very efficient in inhibiting viral
replication and growing CD4 cell counts and are generally
utilized in HAART regimens. Lopinavir and ritonavir are given
together as a result of ritonavir inhibits the degradation of
lopinavir, thereby growing the focus of lopinavir. A
briefer means of claiming that’s ritonavir “boosts” lopinavir.
Mutants of HIV immune to protease inhibitors generally is a sig-
nificant medical downside. Resistance to 1 protease inhibitor
typically conveys resistance to all; nevertheless, the mixture of two
protease inhibitors, particularly, ritonavir and lopinavir (Kaletra),
is efficient towards each mutant and nonmutant strains of HIV.
Additionally, darunavir is efficient towards many strains of HIV which can be
immune to different protease inhibitors. Mutants of HIV resistant
to each protease inhibitors and reverse transcriptase inhibitors
have been recovered from sufferers.
A serious aspect impact of protease inhibitors is irregular fats
deposition in particular areas of the physique, such because the again of the
neck (Determine 45–7). The fats deposits behind the neck are
mentioned to provide the individual a “buffalo hump” look. These
irregular fats deposits are a kind of lipodystrophy; the metabolic
course of by which this happens is unknown. Saquinavir and indi-
navir are sometimes used due to toxicity and nelfinavir is
now not really useful.
Therapy for acute HIV an infection with two reverse tran-
scriptase inhibitors and a protease inhibitor is usually used. With
this routine, the viral load drops beneath the extent of detection,
CD4 cell counts rise, and CD8 exercise will increase. The long-term
impact of this method on fee of development to AIDS has but to
Pregnant ladies contaminated with HIV needs to be handled with
two nucleosides and a protease inhibitor. A typical routine
would come with lamivudine, ZDV, and lopinavir/ritonavir. In
addition, ZDV needs to be given to the neonate. These medicine
seem to not injury the fetus, though uncommon cases of mito-
chondrial dysfunction and loss of life attributed to ZDV have been
reported. The reader is urged to seek the advice of the present info
FIGURE 45–7 Lipodystrophy—observe enlarged fats pad on again
of neck. This is called a “buffalo hump” and is an antagonistic impact of
the protease inhibitor class of antiretroviral medicine. (Reproduced with per-
mission from Wolff Okay, Johnson R, eds. Fitzpatrick’s Colour Atlas & Synopsis of Medical
Dermatology. sixth ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2009.)
concerning using these medicine in being pregnant. A full dialogue
is past the scope of this guide.
Desk 45–3 describes two entry inhibitors, enfuvirtide and
maraviroc. Enfuvirtide (Fuzeon) is the primary of a brand new class of
anti-HIV medicine referred to as fusion inhibitors (i.e., they stop
the fusion of the viral envelope with the cell membrane). Enfu-
virtide is an artificial peptide that binds to gp41 on the viral
envelope, thereby blocking the entry of HIV into the cell. It
should be administered by injection and is kind of costly.
Maraviroc (Selzentry) additionally prevents the entry of HIV into
cells. It blocks the binding of the gp120 envelope protein of HIV
to CCR-5, which is a vital coreceptor on the cell floor.
Earlier than prescribing maraviroc, a laboratory take a look at (Trofile assay)
needs to be carried out to make sure that the tropism of the affected person’s
pressure of HIV is CCR5. Maraviroc needs to be utilized in mixture
with different antiretroviral medicine in sufferers contaminated with CCR5-
tropic strains of HIV and in treatment-experienced adults contaminated
with an HIV pressure that’s immune to different antiretroviral medicine.
Raltegravir (Isentress) is the primary drug to inhibit the HIV-
encoded integrase (see Desk 45–3). It is suggested for
use in sufferers who’ve been handled with different antiretroviral
medicine however proceed to supply vital ranges of HIV. Two
further integrase inhibitors can be found: dolutegravir (Tivicay)
and elvitegravir (out there as both Stribild or Genvoya in mounted
mixture with different medicine).
Resistance to Antiretroviral Medication
Drug-resistant mutants of HIV have emerged that considerably
have an effect on the flexibility of each reverse transcriptase inhibitors and
protease inhibitors to maintain their medical efficacy. Approxi-
mately 10% of newly contaminated sufferers are contaminated with a pressure
of HIV immune to at the least one antiretroviral drug. Laboratory
assessments to detect mutant strains embody each genotypic and pheno-
typic evaluation. Genotyping reveals the presence of particular muta-
tions in both the reverse transcriptase (RT) or protease (PR)
genes. Phenotyping determines the flexibility of the virus to develop
in cell tradition within the presence of the drug. One methodology of phe-
notyping recovers the RT and PR genes from the affected person’s virus
and splices them right into a take a look at pressure of HIV, which is then used
to contaminate cells in tradition. One other laboratory take a look at can decide
the tropism of the affected person’s isolate (i.e., whether or not it makes use of CCR5 as
its coreceptor). In that case, then maraviroc can be utilized for therapy.
Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome
Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) might
happen in HIV-infected sufferers who’re handled with a HAART
routine and who’re coinfected with different microbes akin to
HBV, HCV, M. tuberculosis, M. avium advanced, Cryptococcus
neoformans, and Toxoplasma gondii. On this syndrome, an exac-
erbation of medical signs happens as a result of the antiretroviral
medicine improve the flexibility to mount an inflammatory response.
HIV-infected sufferers with a low CD4 rely have a lowered
capability to supply irritation, however HAART restores the
inflammatory response, and because of this, signs change into extra
pronounced. To keep away from IRIS, the coinfection needs to be handled
previous to instituting HAART each time doable.
No vaccine is accessible. A number of trials of quite a lot of experimen-
tal vaccines have did not induce protecting antibodies, protec-
tive cytotoxic T cells, or mucosal immunity. Prevention consists
of taking measures to keep away from publicity to the virus (e.g., utilizing
condoms, not sharing needles, and discarding donated blood
that’s contaminated with HIV).
Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), akin to that given after
a needle-stick harm or a high-risk nonoccupational publicity,
employs three medicine: the popular routine consists of the
mixture of tenofovir and emtricitabine (given as Truvada)
plus raltegravir. Three different drug regimens can be found.
PEP needs to be given as quickly as doable after publicity and con-
tinued for 28 days. Truvada will also be used for preexposure
prophylaxis (PrEP) in people at excessive threat of an infection, such
as males who’ve intercourse with males.
Two steps could be taken to scale back the variety of circumstances of HIV
an infection in kids: antiretroviral remedy needs to be given to
HIV-infected moms and neonates, and HIV-infected moth-
ers shouldn’t breast feed. The selection of antiretroviral medicine
depends on a number of elements, so present tips ought to
be consulted. As well as, the danger of neonatal HIV an infection is
decrease if supply is achieved by cesarean part moderately than
by vaginal supply. Circumcision reduces HIV an infection.
A number of medicine are generally taken by sufferers within the superior
levels of AIDS to stop sure opportunistic infections
(Desk 45–4). Some examples are trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
to stop Pneumocystis pneumonia, fluconazole to stop
recurrences of cryptococcal meningitis, ganciclovir to stop
recurrences of retinitis brought on by cytomegalovirus, and oral
preparations of antifungal medicine, akin to clotrimazole, to pre-
vent thrush brought on by C. albicans.