In sexual transmission of simian immunodeficiency virus, and early and later stages of human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) infection, both viruses were found to replicate predominantly in CD4+ T cells at the portal of entry and in lymphoid tissues. Infection was propagated not only in activated and proliferating T cells but also, surprisingly, in resting T cells. The infected proliferating cells correspond to the short-lived population that produces the bulk of HIV-1. Most of the HIV-1-infected resting T cells persisted after antiretroviral therapy. Latently and chronically infected cells that may be derived from this population pose challenges to eradicating infection and developing an effective vaccine.
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