HIV-1 Subtype Distribution and Diversity Over 18 Years in Rakai, Uganda
The Rakai Community Cohort Study in south central Uganda has surveyed people aged 15-49 since 1994. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) was introduced in 2004. HIV p24 and gp41 subtype distribution and viral diversity were studied from blood samples collected at three surveys in 1994-1995, 2002-2003, and 2008-2009, which were compared with a new survey round from 2011 to 2012. These included 1364 HIV+ individuals. For both p24 and gp41 domains, the genetic diversity within subtypes A and D was significantly increasing in the pre-ART era and decreased between the last two survey rounds in the ART era ( < .01). This study suggests that despite ongoing mixing of viral subtypes, an association with the introduction of ART to a reduction of intra-subtype viral genomic diversity may be occurring, which can be explored in ongoing studies.