Blunted Response to Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV Elite Controllers: An International HIV Controller Collaboration. HIV "elite controllers" (ECs) spontaneously control viral load, but some eventually require combination antiretroviral treatment (cART), due to a loss of viral control or a decline in CD4 T-cell counts. Here we studied the CD4 T-cell count dynamics after cART initiation among 34 ECs followed in U.S. and European cohorts, by comparison with chronically viremic patients (VIRs). ECs were defined as patients with at least ≥5 viral load (VL) measurements below 400 copies/mL during at least a 5-year period despite never receiving ART and were selected from the French ANRS CO18 cohort, the U.S. SCOPE cohort, the International HIV Controllers study and the European CASCADE collaboration. VIRs were selected from the ANRS COPANA cohort of recently-diagnosed (<1 year) ART-naïve HIV-1-infected adults. CD4 T-cell count dynamics after cART initiation in both groups were modelled with piecewise mixed linear models.
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