HIV and SIV in Body Fluids: From Breast Milk to the Genitourinary Tract

Author(s): Kattayoun Kordy, Nicole H. Tobin, Grace M. Aldrovandi*.

Journal Name: Current Immunology Reviews

Volume 15 , Issue 1 , 2019

Become EABM
Become Reviewer


HIV-1 is present in many secretions including oral, intestinal, genital, and breast milk. However, most people exposed to HIV-1 within these mucosal compartments do not become infected despite often frequent and repetitive exposure over prolonged periods of time. In this review, we discuss what is known about the levels of cell-free HIV RNA, cell-associated HIV DNA and cellassociated HIV RNA in external secretions. Levels of virus are usually lower than contemporaneously obtained blood, increased in settings of inflammation and infection, and decreased in response to antiretroviral therapy. Additionally, each mucosal compartment has unique innate and adaptive immune responses that affect the composition and presence of HIV-1 within each external secretion. We discuss the current state of knowledge about the types and amounts of virus present in the various excretions, touch on innate and adaptive immune responses as they affect viral levels, and highlight important areas for further study.

Keywords: Cell-associated virus, cell-associated RNA, cell-associated DNA, cell-free virus, HIV RNA, mucosal transmission, semen, breast milk, saliva, cervicovaginal fluids, HIV, SIV, non-human primates, genital tract, rectum, vagina, vertical disease transmission, infected leucocytes.

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Year: 2019
Page: [139 - 152]
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DOI: 10.2174/1573395514666180605085313
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