Infection with HIV-1 subtypes B and E in injecting drug users screened for enrollment into a prospective cohort in Bangkok, Thailand

D Kitayaporn, S Vanichseni, T D Mastro, S Raktham, T Vaniyapongs, D C Des Jarlais, C Wasi, N L Young, S Sujarita, W L Heyward, J Esparza
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology 1998 November 1, 19 (3): 289-95
From May through August 1995, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among injecting drug users (IDUs) drawn from 15 drug treatment clinics in Bangkok and who were not known to be HIV-seropositive, to determine the prevalence of HIV-1 subtypes B and E and related risk behaviors, and to offer enrollment in a prospective cohort study. IDUs who voluntarily consented were interviewed, and blood specimens were tested for the presence of HIV antibodies. HIV-1-seropositive specimens were tested for subtypes B' (Thai B) and E by using V3 loop peptide enzyme immunoassays specific for these HIV-1 genetic subtypes. Of 1674 IDUs studied, the mean age was 31.2 years (interquartile range, 25-37 years), 94.8% were men, and 29.3% were HIV-1-seropositive. On multiple logistic regression analysis, HIV-1 seropositivity was associated with older age, not being married, less education, needle sharing, and incarceration. HIV-1 subtype B' accounted for 65% of prevalent infections and subtype E, 35%. Infection with subtype E was associated with younger age and did not seem to be associated with sexual risk behaviors, which were uncommon in general. Bangkok IDUs continue to be at high risk for HIV-1 infection related to needle sharing and incarceration. Although HIV-1 subtype B' accounts for most prevalent infections, subtype E seems to be more prevalent among younger IDUs, and most infections seem likely to result from parenteral transmission.

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