Nationwide Surveillance of HIV-1 Prevalence and Subtype in Young Thai Men

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As part of routine surveillance, an HIV-1 serosurvey of 366,074 members of successive cohorts of young Thai men entering service with the Royal Thai Army (RTA) was conducted between November 1989 and November 1995. We analyzed regional and temporal trends in HIV-1 seroprevalence in young men in Thailand and determined the proportion of infections resulting from subtypes E and B in this population in 1992 and 1995. The prevalence in 1992 was compared with that in 1995 by region and demographic group. The HIV-1 subtype was determined in a random sample of HIV-1-positive specimens in 1992 and 1995 using a V3 peptide enzyme immunoassay. From a peak of 3.7% in 1993, overall seroprevalence declined to 3.0% in 1994 and further in 1995 to 2.5%. Between 1992 and 1995, the absolute decrease in seroprevalence was greatest in the upper North (from 12.5% to 5.3%), where the prevalence has been the highest. Overall, 96.9% and 95.9% of typable specimens were determined to be subtype E in 1992 and 1995, respectively. Decline in HIV-1 seroprevalence among young men in Thailand has continued, which suggests that HIV control programs in Thailand may have been successful in decreasing spread of HIV-1. Almost all HIV-1 infections resulted from subtype E.

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