PBL from approximately 50% of asymptomatic individuals infected with HIV have been previously demonstrated to exhibit defective in vitro Th function that is selective for influenza A virus (FLU), but not for HLA alloantigens (ALLO). In this report, we have further studied HIV+ individuals with this selective Th defect, and demonstrate that defective in vitro CTL responses to FLU can be restored by costimulation with FLU + ALLO. In contrast, HIV+ patients who have lost Th responses to ALLO were unable to correct CTL responses to FLU by this costimulation procedure. These findings indicate that intact Th responses to ALLO can be used in vitro to provide Th signals necessary to activate the T effector cell response to a potential pathogenic virus. Our results raise the possibility that a program of in vivo coimmunization with ALLO plus antigens of potential pathogens (including HIV) can be useful in HIV+ patients exhibiting selective defects in Th function. Furthermore, this approach could be incorporated in vaccine trials aimed at enhancing immunity to HIV in patients who have been infected previously with this virus.

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