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AIDS. 2004 Mar 5;18(4):615-9.

Identification of modifiable factors that affect the genetic diversity of the transmitted HIV-1 population.

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Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, 1100 Fairview Avenue, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.



Our previous studies have shown that the majority of African women were infected with multiple HIV-1 genetic variants, while in the remaining women only a single viral genotype was detected early in infection. Infection with multiple viral variants was associated with higher plasma HIV-1 RNA levels and faster CD4 T-cell decline.


Socio-behavioral characteristics, use of hormonal contraceptives, and the presence of sexually transmitted diseases were prospectively assessed at approximately monthly intervals around the time of HIV-1 acquisition in female sex workers in Kenya. We assessed the relationship between these factors and HIV-1 genetic complexity early in infection.


One hundred and fifty-six women were included in this analysis, of whom 89 had multiple viral genotypes and 67 had a single genotype at primary infection. Women with multiple variants were more likely to have a genital tract infection [odds ratio (OR), 4.7; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.4-18.1] or to be using hormonal contraceptives (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.3-5.6) at the time of their infection than those with a single variant. In multivariate analyses, these factors were independent predictors of early HIV-1 genetic complexity, and the presence of multiple viral variants early in infection remained significantly associated with a higher steady state plasma HIV-1 RNA level.


The presence of genital tract infections and hormonal contraceptive use at the time of transmission were associated with the acquisition of multiple HIV-1 variants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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