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Rev Saude Publica. 2006 Apr;40(2):331-45. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Worldwide molecular epidemiology of HIV.

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Seção de Imunologia, Instituto Adolfo Lutz, Av. Dr. Arnaldo 351, 01246-902 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the worldwide disseminated causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV is a member of the Lentivirus genus of Retroviridae family and is grouped in two types named HIV-1 and HIV-2. These viruses have a notable ability to mutate and adapt to the new conditions of human environment. A large incidence of errors at the transcriptional level results in changes on the genetic bases during the reproductive cycle. The elevated genomic variability of HIV has carried important implications for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention as well as epidemiologic investigations. The present review describes important definitions and geographical distribution of subtypes, circulating recombinant forms and other genomic variations of HIV. The present study aimed at leading students of Biomedical Sciences and public health laboratory staff guidance to general and specific knowledge about the genomic variability of the HIV.

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