Los Alamos National Laboratory
Recent studies have pointed to a positive correlation between viral load and the death rate of productively infected cells and to a negative correlation between viral load and the frequency of HIV-1 specific CTL. No correlation, however, has been observed between infected cell death rates and CD4+ T-cell counts. Commonly invoked models for HIV pathogenesis fail to predict these results. We show, however, that a target-cell model that distinguishes between newly infected and productively infected cells can provide a general explanation for these patterns.