(See the editorial commentary by Altfeld and Goulder, on pages 753–5.)
Background. The Step study was a randomized trial to determine whether an adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) vector vaccine, which elicits T cell immunity, can lead to control of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in participants who became HIV-infected after vaccination.
Methods. We evaluated the effect of the vaccine on trends in HIV viral load, CD4+ T cell counts, time to initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and AIDS-free survival in 87 male participants who became infected with HIV during the Step study and who had a median of 24 months of post-infection follow-up.
Results. There was no overall effect of vaccine on mean log10 viral load (estimated difference between groups, -0.11; P = .47). In a subset of subjects with protective HLA types (B27, B57, B58), mean HIV-1 RNA level over time was lower among vaccine recipients. There was no significant difference in CD4+ T cell counts, time to ART initiation, or in AIDS-free survival between HIV-1–infected subjects who received vaccine versus those who received placebo.
Conclusions. HIV RNA levels, CD4+ T cell counts, time to initiation of ART, and AIDS-free survival were similar in vaccine and placebo recipients. There may have been a favorable effect of vaccine on HIV-1 RNA levels in participants with HLA types associated with better control of HIV-1.
Journal Article. 4608 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology
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