To evaluate factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) proviral DNA load, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 36 chronically HIV-1-infected individuals with undetectable plasma viral RNA. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction to determine the number of HIV-1 proviral DNA copies per 106 peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The mean level of plasma viral RNA when the CD4+ T cell count was above 500 cells/μL without highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was significantly associated with proviral DNA load at the time of undetectable plasma HIV RNA with HAART. Strategies to reduce the level of plasma viral RNA when patients' CD4+ T cell counts are above 500 cells/μL without HAART could help reduce HIV-1 proviral DNA load.
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