© 2014, American Society for Microbiology. Initiation of antiretroviral therapy during the earliest stages of HIV-1 infection may limit the seeding of a long-lasting viral reservoir, but long-term effects of early antiretroviral treatment initiation remain unknown. Here, we analyzed immunological and virological characteristics of nine patients who started antiretroviral therapy at primary HIV-1 infection and remained on suppressive treatment for > 10 years; patients with similar treatment duration but initiation of suppressive therapy during chronic HIV-1 infection served as controls.Weobserved that independently of the timing of treatment initiation, HIV-1DNAin CD4 T cells decayed primarily during the initial 3 to 4 years of treatment. However, in patients who started antiretroviral therapy in early infection, this decay occurred faster and was more pronounced, leading to substantially lower levels of cell-associated HIV-1DNAafter long-term treatment. Despite this smaller size, the viral CD4 T cell reservoir in persons with early treatment initiation consisted more dominantly of the long-lasting central- memory and T memory stem cells. HIV-1-specific T cell responses remained continuously detectable during antiretroviral therapy, independently of the timing of treatment initiation. Together, these data suggest that early HIV-1 treatment initiation, even when continued for > 10 years, is unlikely to lead to viral eradication, but the presence of low viral reservoirs and durable HIV-1 T cell responses may make such patients good candidates for future interventional studies aiming at HIV-1 eradication and cure.