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Issue No. 20 | May 21, 2010

News and Features

Study Suggests Some HIV Natural Viral Suppressors Can Control Multiple Chronic Viral Infection Agents

“HIV-1 natural viral suppressors (NVSs) demonstrate an intrinsic ability to control HIV-1 replication in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. The objective of this study was to investigate whether HIV-infected NVSs also demonstrate enhanced ability to control hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and whether HCV infection in the NVSs affects the degree of HIV control. … A cross-sectional study was undertaken to compare HCV-related parameters in the NVS to the two race-matched cohorts (HIV/HCV-coinfected or HCV-monoinfected patients). … NVS patients had a significantly higher clearance rate of HCV at 23.3% (seven of 30), compared to the 6.5% (23 of 350) of HIV/HCV-coinfected and 9.1% (32 of 350) of HCV-monoinfected patients (P = 0.005 and P = 0.024, respectively). Apart from the HCV clearance rate, there was no significant difference in HCV-related parameters such as HCV viral load or liver histology in the NVS with chronic HCV compared to HCV/HIV-coinfected patients or HCV-monoinfected patients. However, NVS patients with chronic HCV infection had statistically significant lower CD4 cell count and CD4%, and lower CD4/CD8 ratio compared to those NVSs without chronic HCV infection (P = 0.029, P = 0.046, and P = 0.062, respectively). … It appears that some NVS patients have the ability to effectively control multiple agents that can cause chronic viral infections. In addition, it appears that the presence of chronic HCV infection within the NVS adversely affects immunological parameters.”

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Study Suggests Biomarkers of Inflammation and Coagulation Remain Elevated with HIV Viral Suppression

“Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication and immune activation may increase inflammation and coagulation biomarkers. … For persons 45-76 years of age, levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin (IL)-6, D-dimer, and cystatin C were compared in 494 HIV-infected individuals in the Strategies for Management of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (SMART) study and 5386 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) study. For persons 33-44 years of age, hsCRP and IL-6 levels were compared in 287 participants in the SMART study and 3231 participants in the Coronary Artery Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. … hsCRP and IL-6 levels were 55% (P < . 001) and 62[%] (P < . 001) higher among HIV-infected participants than among CARDIA study participants. Compared with levels noted in MESA study participants, hsCRP, IL-6, D-dimer, and cystatin C levels were 50%, 152%, 94%, and 27% higher, respectively (P < . 001, for each), among HIV-infected participants. HIV-infected participants receiving antiretroviral therapy who had HIV RNA levels 400 copies/mL had levels higher (by 21% to 60%) (P < . 001) than those in the general population, for all biomarkers. … hsCRP, IL-6, D-dimer, and cystatin C levels are elevated in persons with HIV infection and remain so even after HIV RNA levels are suppressed with antiretroviral therapy. Additional research is needed on the pathophysiology of HIV-induced activation of inflammatory and coagulation pathways, to guide potential interventions.”

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