In individuals with HIV-1 infection, depletion of CD4+ T-cells is often accompanied by a malfunction of CD8+ T-cells that are persistently activated and/or exhausted. While the dynamics and correlates of CD4 counts have been well-documented, the same does not apply to CD8 counts. Here, we examined CD8 counts in a cohort of 497 Africans with primary HIV-1 infection and monthly to quarterly follow-up visits for up to three years in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. Statistical models revealed that i) CD8 counts were relatively steady in the 3-36 months period of infection and similar between men and women; ii) neither geography nor heterogeneity in HIV-1 set-point viral load could account for the roughly 10-fold range of CD8 counts in the cohort (P >0.25 in all tests); and iii) factors independently associated with relatively high CD8 counts included demographics (age =40>
Prentice, H. A., Lu, H., Price, M. A., Kamali, A., Karita, E., Lakhi, S., Sanders, E. J., Anzala, O., Allen, S., Goepfert, P. A., Hunter, E., Gilmour, J., Tang, J.