The X awakens: multifactorial ramifications of sex-specific differences in HIV-1 infection

Author List
Sven Hagen
Marcus Altfeld


Sex-specific differences have been described for a variety of infectious and autoimmune diseases. In HIV-1 infection women present with significantly lower viral loads during early infection, but during chronic infection women progress faster to AIDS for the same amount of viral replication. Recent studies have shown that sex differences during HIV-1 infection might also include the size of the latent viral reservoir, which represents a major obstacle towards a cure for HIV-1. Here we review different immunological and virological aspects that can be influenced by sex hormones and sex-specific genetic factors and their contribution to viral replication, as well as the creation and maintenance of the HIV-1 reservoir.

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HIV cure research

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