Distinct circulating recombinant HIV-1 strains among injecting drug users and sex workers in Afghanistan

Eric Sanders-Buell, Meera Bose, Abdul Nasir, Catherine S. Todd, M. Raza Stanekzai, Sodsai Tovanabutra, Paul T. Scott, Steffanie A. Strathdee, Jeffrey Tjaden, Nelson L. Michael, Francine E. McCutchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Little information is available regarding a circulating HIV genotype among high-risk groups in Afghanistan; we describe HIV genotypes among injecting drug users (IDUs) and sex workers (SWs) in four Afghan cities. Participants completed behavioral questionnaires and HIV testing. Western blot-confirmed specimens had peripheral mononuclear blood cells isolated for genotyping. Analysis of recombinants was done by bootscanning and manual sequence alignment. The single SW sample harbored a CRF01-AE strain. Of 10 IDUs available for analysis, all were CRF35-AD and from Hirat. Analyzed subregions (gag p17 and env C1-C5) revealed close homology between the Hirat specimens. Three distinct subclusters comprising two or three strains were identified, whereas two other strains were generally equidistant from previously identified Kabul strains. Results suggest that the nascent HIV epidemic among IDUs in Hirat is largely, if not entirely, subtype CRF35-AD, and the close homology suggests recent infection; harm reduction should be supported to avert further transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-608
Number of pages4
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct circulating recombinant HIV-1 strains among injecting drug users and sex workers in Afghanistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this