Background: This study examined whether recommended viral load (VL) classifications by the Department of Health and Human Services map onto changes in brain integrity observed in people living with HIV (PLWH).Methods: Three hundred forty-nine PLWH on combination antiretroviral therapy meeting criteria for virologic suppression (VS) (VL ≤ 20 copies/mL; n = 206), "low-level viremia"(20-200 copies/mL; n = 63), or virologic failure (VF) (>200 copies/mL; n = 80) and 195 demographically similar HIV-negative controls were compared for cognition and brain volumes from 10 regions of interest that are sensitive to HIV. Changes in cognition and brain volumes were examined in a subset of PLWH (n = 132) who completed a follow-up evaluation (mean interval = 28 months) and had no change in treatment regimen.Results: Significant differences in cognition and brain volumes were observed between the HIV-negative control and VS groups compared with those in the VF groups, with few differences observed between the 3 PLWH subgroups. Longitudinally, PLWH who continued to have VF exhibited a greater decline in cognition and brain volumes compared with PLWH who remained with VS. Observed longitudinal changes in cognition correlated with brain volume changes.Conclusion: PLWH with continued VF (consecutive VL measurements of >200 copies/mL) represent a cause for clinical concern and may benefit from change in treatment in addition to consideration of other potential etiologies of VF to reduce loss of brain integrity.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2021|
- viral load