The initially unexpected finding of HIV-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses among uninfected sex workers paved the way to the fact that natural protective immunity may exist. It has been difficult to repeat these studies in infants because of small blood volumes. Nevertheless, some studies, using IL-2 production as a marker following stimulation with envelope peptides, have shown that none of the children with apparent HIV-specific T-cell response developed HIV infections despite exposure to HIV through breast feeding.

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