Changing Rate of Non-B Subtypes and Coinfection with Hepatitis B/C Viruses in Newly Diagnosed HIV Type 1 Individuals in Spain
Immigration from developing regions to Western countries has resulted in an increased rate of non-B subtypes in the HIV population. However, it is unclear whether these HIV variants remain confined to foreigners or are already spreading among natives. Since many immigrants come from regions in which hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are endemic, HIV-hepatitis coinfection might be more frequent in newly diagnosed HIV persons. Herein, we report changes in the prevalence and distribution of HIV-1 subtypes in Madrid, Spain over the past 10 years as well as the rate of chronic HBV and HCV coinfection in 1854 newly diagnosed HIV-1 individuals. Overall 18.2% carried HIV-1 non-B subtypes, although the prevalence increased over time reaching a peak of 19.4% in the last period (2007-2010). The most common non-B variants were CRF02_AG (37%), G (12%), A (9.9%), and C (7.8%). In native Spaniards the rate of non-B subtypes increased from 1.5% in 2000-2002 to 7.2% in 2003-2006 and to 11.4% in 2007-2010 (p = 0.04). Chronic hepatitis B and C were found, respectively, in 4.2% and 8.3% of the study population. While the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B has remained fairly stable over time across distinct populations, the rate of chronic HCV infection has experienced a significant decline, mainly in native Spaniards as a result of a reduction in intravenous drug use. In summary, the prevalence of HIV-1 non-B subtypes is rising in newly diagnosed HIV-1 individuals in Spain, including the native population. In contrast, the rate of HBV coinfection remains unchanged and the rate of HCV coinfection has declined.
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