HIV-1 CRF01_AE in intravenous drug users in Hanoi, Vietnam
To investigate the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 among intravenous drug users (IDUs) in Hanoi we collected 17 samples from individuals living in 12 locations in and around Hanoi. The HIV-1 env V3 and gag p17 regions were directly sequenced from the proviral PBMC population. The majority of the IDUs were infected with HIV-1 CRF01_AE and one individual carried a p17/V3 CRF01/subtype C recombinant. The CRF01 viruses found among these individuals did not seem to be directly epidemiologically linked to each other. The sequences were, however, related to previously reported CRF01 sequences from Vietnam and China. Thus, IDUs in Hanoi seem to have derived their infections in Vietnam, but not from the same source. The discovery of the CRF01/C recombinant shows that new viral forms easily can be generated in IDU transmission chains.