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The importance of semen leukocytes in HIV-1 transmission and the development of prevention strategies.

ABSTRACT: HIV-1 sexual transmission occurs mostly through contaminated semen, which is a complex mixture of soluble factors with immunoregulatory functions and cells. It is well established that semen cells from HIV-1-infected men are able to produce the virus and that are harnessed to efficiently interact with mucosal barriers exposed during sexual intercourse. Several cofactors contribute to semen infectivity and may enhance the risk of HIV-1 transmission to a partner by increasing local HIV-1 replication in the male genital tract, thereby increasing the number of HIV-1-infected cells and the local HIV-1 shedding in semen. The introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy has improved the life expectancy of HIV-1 infected individuals; however, there is evidence that systemic viral suppression does not always reflect full viral suppression in the seminal compartment. This review focus on the role semen leukocytes play in HIV-1 transmission and discusses implications of the increased resistance of cell-mediated transmission to immune-based prevention strategies.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7553688 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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