(HealthDay News) – Individuals infected with a recombinant strain of HIV have a higher risk of developing and dying of AIDS, and developing and dying from AIDS sooner than individuals infected with either parent strain, according to a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Angelica A. Palm, from Lund University in Malmö, Sweden, and colleagues determined the HIV-1 subtype/circulating recombinant forms (based on the C2 to V3 region of the env protein) present in 152 seroincident HIV-positive patients from Guinea-Bissau.

The researchers found that 53% had subtype CRF02_AG, 29% had subtype A3, and 13%  had a recombinant of CRF02_AG and A3 named A3/02. Compared with A3, infection with A3/02 was associated with a significantly higher risk of AIDS (hazard ratio, 2.6) and AIDS-related death (hazard ratio, 2.9). Infection with A3/02 was also associated with a shorter estimated time to seroconversion to AIDS (5 years, compared with 6.2 years for CRF02_AG and 7.2 years for A3) and AIDS-related death (8 years, compared with 9 years for CRF02_AG and 11.3 years for A3).

“Our results show that there are differences in disease progression between HIV-1 A-like subtypes/circulating recombinant forms,” Palm and colleagues conclude. “Individuals infected with A3/02 have among the fastest progression rates to AIDS reported to date.”

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