Journal Article

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Superinfection and Recombination: Current State of Knowledge and Potential Clinical Consequences

Jason T. Blackard, Daniel E. Cohen and Kenneth H. Mayer

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 8, pages 1108-1114
Published in print April 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/339547
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Superinfection and Recombination: Current State of Knowledge and Potential Clinical Consequences

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Superinfection with multiple strains or subtypes of the human and simian immunodeficiency viruses has been documented. Recent increases in the prevalences of both unprotected anal intercourse and sexually transmitted diseases among men who have sex with men indicate that these men continue to practice unsafe sex and, therefore, are at risk for superinfection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Recurrent exposure to HIV among seropositive individuals who engage in high-risk behaviors can have serious consequences, because superinfection is a necessary first step for viral recombination to occur. Recombination may produce more virulent viruses, drug-resistant viruses, or viruses with altered cell tropism. Additionally, recombinant viruses and superinfection can accelerate disease progression and increase the likelihood of sexual transmission by increasing virus load in the blood and genital tract. The extent of superinfection and recombination in persons living with HIV is unknown. The implications of HIV superinfection and the generation of recombinant viruses are discussed.

Journal Article.  4920 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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