HIV RNA levels in plasma and cervical-vaginal lavage fluid in elite controllers and HAART recipients. The introduction of HAART leads to control of HIV replication to less than 50 copies/ml, similar to levels in 'elite controllers'. Low-level viral replication may be one of the contributing factors to persistent immune activation/inflammation in HAART-treated individuals. There are still gaps in our knowledge of whether low-level replication persists in systemic versus mucosal sites. Participants for this study were recruited from the Women's Interagency HIV Study. We evaluated 33 'elite controllers' who naturally controlled HIV replication and 33 matched HAART-suppressed recipients. This study employed a sensitive target-capture transcription-mediated-amplification assay to compare low-level virus concentrations in plasma and cervical-vaginal lavage (CVL) samples from HIV-positive HAART recipients and 'elite controllers'.
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