Journal Article

Antiretroviral Recommendations May Influence the Rate of Transmission of Drug-Resistant HIV Type 1

Carmen de Mendoza, Carmen Rodriguez, José Maria Eiros, Javier Colomina, Federico Garcia, Pilar Leiva, Julián Torre-Cisneros, Jesús Aguero, José Pedreira, Isabel Viciana, Angélica Corral, Jorge del Romero, Raúl Ortiz de Lejarazu and Vincent Soriano

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 41, issue 2, pages 227-232
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online July 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Antiretroviral Recommendations May Influence the Rate of Transmission of Drug-Resistant HIV Type 1

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Background. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment guidelines have evolved, shifting from more-aggressive to more-conservative approaches. The potential impact of these shifts on the transmission of drug-resistant virus is unknown.

Methods. Drug-resistance genotypes were examined in all consecutive patients with recent HIV type 1 (HIV-1) seroconversion (hereafter, “HIV-1 seroconverters”) seen at 10 Spanish hospitals since 1997. During the same period, the proportion of patients with chronic HIV-1 infection having undetectable viremia was examined, to estimate the extent and effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy.

Results. A total of 141 recent HIV-1 seroconverters were identified, 67.4% of whom were men who have sex with men. The rate of primary drug-resistance mutations, by year of infection, was 33.3% for 1997, 29.4% for 1998, 20% for 1999, 14.3% for 2000, 3.4% for 2001, 15.4% for 2002, and 10.9% for 2003. On the other hand, the proportion of 8388 persons with chronic HIV-1 carriage who had an undetectable virus load was 33.4% for 1997, 34.6% for 1998, 39.7% for 1999, 47.5% for 2000, 52.9% for 2001, 39.7% for 2002, and 58.1% for 2003. A significant inverse correlation between transmission of drug-resistant HIV-1 and undetectable virus load was found (r = -0.955, by Spearman's test; P = .001). The lowest rate of transmission of drug-resistant HIV-1 was seen in 2001, when relatively “aggressive” treatment guidelines were used. Transmission of drug-resistant HIV-1 increased in 2002, in parallel with a reduction in the number of patients with chronic HIV-1 carriage and undetectable virus load, reflecting the popularity of drug holidays or treatment interruptions.

Conclusion. The rate of drug resistance in recent HIV-1 seroconverters inversely correlates with the proportion of chronically HIV-1—infected individuals who have undetectable virus loads in the same region, which indirectly reflects antiretroviral treatment rules at any given time.

Journal Article.  3668 words.  Illustrated.

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

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