On the duration of the period between exposure to HIV and detectable infection

Bernhard P. Konrad, Darlene Taylor, Jessica Maral Conway, Gina S. Ogilvie, Daniel Coombs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

HIV infection cannot be detected immediately after exposure because plasma viral loads are too small initially. The duration of this phase of infection (the “eclipse period”) is difficult to estimate because precise dates of exposure are rarely known. Therefore, the reliability of clinical HIV testing during the first few weeks of infection is unknown, creating anxiety among HIV-exposed individuals and their physicians. We address this by fitting stochastic models of early HIV infection to detailed viral load records for 78 plasma donors, taken during the period of exposure and infection. We first show that the classic stochastic birth-death model does not satisfactorily describe early infection. We therefore apply a different stochastic model that includes infected cells and virions separately. Since every plasma donor in our data eventually becomes infected, we must condition the model to reflect this bias, before fitting to the data. Applying our best estimates of unknown parameter values, we estimate the mean eclipse period to be 8–10 days. We further estimate the reliability of a negative test t days after potential exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalEpidemics
Volume20
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Fingerprint

HIV Infections
Infection
Viral Load
Tissue Donors
HIV
Virion
Anxiety
Parturition
Physicians

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Cite this

Konrad, Bernhard P. ; Taylor, Darlene ; Conway, Jessica Maral ; Ogilvie, Gina S. ; Coombs, Daniel. / On the duration of the period between exposure to HIV and detectable infection. In: Epidemics. 2017 ; Vol. 20. pp. 73-83.
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On the duration of the period between exposure to HIV and detectable infection. / Konrad, Bernhard P.; Taylor, Darlene; Conway, Jessica Maral; Ogilvie, Gina S.; Coombs, Daniel.

In: Epidemics, Vol. 20, 01.09.2017, p. 73-83.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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