R.W. Coombs, A.C. Collier, J.-P. Allain, B. Nikora, et al., "Plasma viremia in human immunodeficiency virus infection," The New England Journal of Medicine, 321, 1626-31, 14 December 1989.

Robert W. Coombs (University of Washington, Seattle): "Our paper describes the association between the recovery of cell-free infectious HIV (plasma viremia) and the progression of disease in HIV-infected people. The importance of this observation is supported by a companion publication (D.D. Ho, et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 321:1621-5, 1989 ["Hot Papers," The Scientist, Oct. 29, 1990, page 19]) and contemporary observations by NIH's Steven M. Schnittman and his colleagues (Science, 245:305-8, 1989) that clearly show this association between increasing viral replication, or virus load, and disease progression. As such, these studies indicate that successful, long-term therapeutic strategies for HIV infection must decrease and, preferably, block all HIV replication in the infected person. Because plasma viremia offers a quantitative assessment of...

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