HIV subtype D linked with faster progression to death than subtype A in Uganda study

Graham McKerrow, HIV i-Base

HIV subtype D is linked to faster progression to death than subtype A, according to the findings of researchers in Uganda.

Dr Pontiano Kaleebu and colleagues at the Medical Research Council Programme on AIDS in Entebbe reports in the 1 May issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases on a study of 1,045 adults in Uganda. They compared 538 patients infected with subtype A to 507 with subtype D.

The researchers report: “Subtype D was associated with faster progression to death (relative risk, 1.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.56; P=0.009) and with a lower CD4 cell count during follow-up (P=0.001), compared with subtype A, after adjusting for CD4 cell count at enrolment.”

The researchers write that this could affect the dynamics of HIV-1 subtypes globally if people with less virulent strains of HIV survive longer and as a result these strains are transmitted more than others.


Kaleebu P, French N, Mahe C et al. Effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 envelope subtypes A and D on disease progression in a large cohort of HIV-1-positive persons in Uganda. J Infect Dis 2002 May 1;185(9):1244-50

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