Research Article
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Published Online: 26 April 2012

HIV Transmissions During Seroconversion Contribute Significantly to New Infections in Men Who Have Sex with Men in Australia

Publication: AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Volume 28, Issue Number 5

Abstract

Transmission of HIV from recently infected individuals contributes to the number of new cases of infection, but the extent to which it occurs from those who are unaware of their infection is not known. Phylogenetic analysis was performed on 209 cases of acute HIV subtype B infection detected between January 2005 and September 2010, most of whom (88%) were men who have sex with men. Only new cases with an evolving Western blot profile confirmed by detection of HIV RNA were included. Subjects whose known dates of seroconversion were within 1 month of at least one other phylogenetically linked case identified during the 6 years of the study were then examined to estimate the prevalence of onward transmission. Almost 30% of cases could have acquired their infection from another person undergoing seroconversion within the same month. Temporal increases in the number of phylogenetically related strains within several clusters were demonstrated during the study, although the rate of increase varied. Transmission of HIV from individuals undergoing seroconversion is an important contributor to the number of new infections identified every year and very likely occurs before they have knowledge of their infection. Clusters of related HIV strains can grow at a disconcerting rate, demonstrating that more focused public health efforts are required to minimize further HIV transmissions within sexual networks.

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Volume 28Issue Number 5May 2012
Pages: 460 - 464
PubMed: 21806486

History

Published in print: May 2012
Published online: 26 April 2012
Published ahead of print: 21 September 2011
Published ahead of production: 2 August 2011

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Affiliations

Doris Chibo
HIV Characterisation Laboratory, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Matthew Kaye
HIV Characterisation Laboratory, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Chris Birch
HIV Characterisation Laboratory, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Notes

Address correspondence to:Doris ChiboVictorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory10 Wreckyn StreetNorth Melbourne 3051VictoriaAustralia
E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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