HIV populations often diversify in response to selective pressures, such as the immune response and antiretroviral drug use. We analyzed HIV diversity in Black men who have sex with men who were enrolled in the HIV Prevention Trials Network 061 study.
A high resolution melting (HRM) diversity assay was used to measure diversity in six regions of the HIV genome: two in gag, one in pol, and three in env. HIV diversity was analyzed for 146 men who were HIV infected at study enrollment, including three with acute infection and 13 with recent infection (identified using a multi-assay algorithm), and for 21 men who seroconverted during the study. HIV diversification was analyzed in a paired analysis for 62 HIV-infected men using plasma samples from the enrollment and 12-month (end of study) visits.
Men with acute or recent infection at enrollment and seroconverters had lower median HRM scores (lower HIV diversity) than men with non-recent infection in all six regions analyzed. In univariate analyses, younger age, higher CD4 cell count, and HIV drug resistance were associated with lower median HRM scores in multiple regions; ARV drug detection was marginally associated with lower diversity in the pol region. In multivariate analysis, acute or recent infection (all six regions) and HIV drug resistance (both gag regions) were associated with lower median HRM scores. Diversification in the pol region over 12 months was greater for men with acute or recent infection, higher CD4 cell count, and lower HIV viral load at study enrollment.
HIV diversity was significantly associated with duration of HIV infection, and lower gag diversity was observed in men who had HIV drug resistance. HIV pol diversification was more pronounced in men with acute or recent infection, higher CD4 cell count, and lower HIV viral load.
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Chen, I., Chau, G., Wang, J., Clarke, W., Marzinke, M. A., Magnus, M., & +14 additional authors (2016). Analysis of HIV Diversity in HIV-Infected Black Men Who Have Sex with Men (HPTN 061). PLoS ONE, 11 (12). http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167629