Background: Genotypic drug resistance testing for HIV-1 has been integrated into voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) programmes to investigate the trends of transmitted drug resistance (TDR), including integrase mutations, among individuals with recent or chronic HIV infections in Taiwan.
Methods: Between 2006 and 2014, 745 of 21 886 subjects (3.4%) tested HIV positive in the VCT service. The BED assay was used to identify recent HIV infections. Genotypic resistance mutations were interpreted using the WHO 2009 list. Integrase resistance mutations were analysed using the Stanford HIV Drug Resistance Database.
Results: Three-hundred-and-sixty (48.3%) patients were recently infected with HIV-1. Of 440 patients linked to HIV care with analysable reverse transcriptase and protease genes, 49 (11.1%) were infected with HIV-1 harbouring at least one resistance-associated mutation (RAM). The prevalence of TDR to NRTIs, NNRTIs and PIs was 4.1%, 6.4% and 2.3%, respectively. TDR prevalence did not change significantly during the study period. CD4 counts ≤500 cells/mm(3) and hepatitis B surface antigen positivity were independent factors associated with acquiring drug-resistant HIV. The prevalence of integrase mutations was 3.2%. Among the seven major integrase mutations (T66I, E92Q, G140S, Y143C/H/R, S147G, Q148H/K/R and N155H), only one strain harbouring the Q148R mutation was detected. We found no statistically significant difference between patients with chronic infection and those with recent infection in the prevalence of drug-resistant mutations to any of the four classes of antiretroviral agents.
Conclusions: The prevalence of TDR of HIV-1 strains to available antiretroviral agents is moderately high, but transmission of HIV-1 with drug-resistant mutations remains stable in Taiwan.
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