Changes in Circulation of B and Non-B HIV Strains: Spotlight on a Reference Centre for Infectious Diseases in Northern Italy

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Stored demographic data and HIV RT and protease sequences of 877 HIV patients attending for the first time the HIV/AIDS outpatient clinics of a reference Infectious Diseases centre in Northern Italy between 1999 and 2006 were stratified by 3-year spanning periods according to date of HIV infection. In the period 1980-1982, new infections were entirely caused by HIV-1 subtype B strains and were all diagnosed in injection drug users, 88.9% of whom were males. Injection drug users accounted for 12.8% of new infections in 2004-2006. The frequency of heterosexually-transmitted infections consistently increased until 2000 (from almost none to 51.5%) remaining stable afterwards. About half of heterosexual patients were females. HIV infections among homosexual men increased from 0% in 1980-1982 to 15-21% between 1998 and 2006. Overall, the frequency of non-B subtypes HIV strains increased from 0% in 1980-1982 to 20.3% in 2004-2006 with a greater impact in heterosexuals (from 0% in 1980-1982 to 30.5% in 2004-2006). In conclusion, a picture of the changing scenario of circulating HIV types and subtypes in a reference Infectious Diseases centre in Northern Italy over the past 26 years is provided. A progressive modification in risk factors for HIV infection and a significant increase in the frequency of non-B HIV strains were observed.

    loading  Loading Related Articles