Prevalences, genotypes, and risk factors for HIV transmission in South America

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2005 Sep 1;40(1):57-64. doi: 10.1097/01.qai.0000159667.72584.8b.


HIV cross-sectional studies were conducted among high-risk populations in 9 countries of South America. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay screening and Western blot confirmatory testing were performed, and env heteroduplex mobility assay genotyping and DNA sequencing were performed on a subset of HIV-positive subjects. HIV prevalences were highest among men who have sex with men (MSM; 2.0%-27.8%) and were found to be associated with multiple partners, noninjection drug use (non-IDU), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). By comparison, much lower prevalences were noted among female commercial sex workers (FCSWs; 0%-6.3%) and were associated mainly with a prior IDU and STI history. Env subtype B predominated among MSM throughout the region (more than 90% of strains), whereas env subtype F predominated among FCSWs in Argentina and male commercial sex workers in Uruguay (more than 50% of strains). A renewed effort in controlling STIs, especially among MSM groups, could significantly lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic in South America.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Female
  • Gene Products, env / genetics
  • HIV / genetics*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Heteroduplex Analysis
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work
  • Sexual Behavior
  • South America / epidemiology
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous


  • Gene Products, env