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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2015 Aug;31(8):841-4. doi: 10.1089/aid.2015.0040. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

HIV Drug Resistance Surveillance Among Jamaican Men Who Have Sex with Men Should Be Prioritized for Reducing HIV Transmission.

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1 Biology Division, School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science and Sport, University of Technology , Kingston, Jamaica .
2 Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
3 University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
4 Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina , Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
5 Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, University of the West Indies , Mona, Kingston, Jamaica .


The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is highest among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Jamaica but no genotypic data are available on the virus strains that are responsible for the epidemic among this key population. HIV-1 polymerase (pol) genes from 65 MSM were sequenced and used to predict drug resistance mutations. An HIV drug resistance prevalence of 28% (minimum 13%) was observed among this cohort, with the most frequent mutations conferring resistance to efavirenz, nevirapine, and lamivudine. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences revealed 10 times the number of linked HIV infections among this cohort than respondent reporting. HIV treatment and prevention efforts in Jamaica could benefit significantly from Pol genotyping of the HIV strains infecting socially vulnerable MSM prior to initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART), as this would guide suppressive ART and unearth HIV transmission clusters to enable more effective delivery of treatment and prevention programs.

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