Cellular immune responses play an important role in the control of HIV replication. Although clear evidence exists on its influence during acute HIV infection, its role during the chronic phase of the disease remains controversial. This review describes the cellular immune responses elicited against HIV mediated by CD8+ T lymphocytes, and the mechanisms by which these cells are inefficient to completely control HIV replication and halt disease progression. The role of escape mutations as one of the most relevant mechanisms HIV has developed to evade host cellular immune responses is highlighted.
Keywords: HIV-1, CTL, immune response, immune escape
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