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Health Agencies Update
July 25, 2012

HIV Superinfections in Uganda

JAMA. 2012;308(4):331. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.8749

The rate of so-called HIV superinfections was much higher than expected in a population of heterosexual patients with HIV in Uganda, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

HIV superinfection, in which a patient is infected with more than 1 strain of the virus, may result in poorer clinical outcomes. The researchers used an ultradeep genetic sequencing technique to identify superinfections among 149 individuals with recently detected HIV infections (Redd AD et al. J Infect Dis. 2012;206[2]:267-274). They found that the rate of superinfection was 1.44 per 100 person-years. They also compared this rate with the rate of primary infection in a heterosexual population of 20 220 individuals (1.15 per 100 person-years) and found no significant difference.