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J Clin Virol. 2008 Apr;41(4):288-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2007.11.020. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Detection of recent HIV infections in African individuals infected by HIV-1 non-B subtypes using HIV antibody avidity.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Parassitarie e Immunomediate, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.



To estimate HIV incidence several methods have been used to discriminate recent HIV infections from long-standing infections using a single serum sample.


To evaluate the performance of the anti-HIV avidity index (AI) for identifying recent HIV infections in individuals with a known date of seroconversion from Uganda, where the predominant HIV subtypes are A and D.


We selected 149 repository serum samples from Ugandan HIV-positive individuals and evaluated the AI. Specimens collected < or =6 months after seroconversion were considered as recent infections, and those collected >6 months as long-standing infections. All specimens were serotyped using a V3 peptide enzyme immunoassay.


The mean AI was 0.55+/-0.21 among the 108 patients with recent infections and 0.93+/-0.14 among the 41 samples from long-standing infections (p<0.0001). The AI test showed a sensitivity of 85.2% and a specificity of 85.4% at a cutoff of 0.80. No significant association was observed between serotype and the misclassification of samples by AI.


The AI, which is inexpensive and easy-to-perform, can be useful in identifying recent HIV infections in countries where HIV-1 non-B subtypes are prevalent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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