Background: Laboratory data document the activation of the HIV-1 genome on exposure to UV radiation, including PUVA. The overall effects of UV radiation exposure on HIV-1 infection in human beings are unknown. Objective: Our purpose was to observe CD4 cell counts and quantitative markers of HIV-1 load in late-stage HIV-1-infected human beings receiving PUVA for various cutaneous diseases. Methods: Samples of peripheral blood were obtained on days 0, 14, 30, and 60 of PUVA administered in therapeutic doses. Number of CD4+ T lymphocytes was determined by flow cytometry, and HIV-1 load was measured by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction for viral genome in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, semiquantitative RNA-polymerase chain reaction for HIV-1 RNA in serum, and determination of p24 in serum. Results: No significant changes in the measurements were observed. Conclusion: This study did not detect a deleterious effect on CD4 cell count or HIV-1 load during 2 months of PUVA treatment for patients in late stages of infection, with low CD4 cell counts and high HIV-1 loads.
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