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We studied changes in 60 immunological parameters after the administration of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 192 clinically stable antiretroviral drug–experienced HIV-1–infected children 4 months– 17 years old. The studied immunological parameters included standard lymphocyte subsets and lymphocyte surface markers of maturation and activation. The most significant changes during the 48-week study period were seen for CD8+, CD8+ CD62L+ CD45RA+, CD8+ CD38+ HLA-DR+, and CD4+ T cell percentages (P < .0001 for all parameters). These changes suggest that significant decreases in the expression of activation markers and increases in the expression of naive markers in the CD8+ T cell population may be related to better virologic control in these HIV-1–infected children, who had relatively stable immune function at the initiation of HAART. At week 44 of HAART, the major immunological parameters in these HIV-1–infected children moved from baseline values to about halfway to two-thirds of the way toward the values in healthy, uninfected children.


Journal of Infectious Diseases