National surveillance of HIV-1 subtypes for England and Wales: Design, methods, and initial findings

John Parry, Gary Murphy, Katrina L. Barlow, Kim Lewis, Pauline A. Rogers, Francisco J. Belda, Angus Nicoll, Christine McGarrigle, Susan Cliffe, Philip P. Mortimer, Jonathan P. Clewley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The HIV-1 infections detected in an ongoing national unlinked anonymous HIV surveillance program were subtyped and analyzed according to demographic and risk characteristics. Of the 893 anti-HIV-1-positive specimens allocated to an exposure group, 70% could be subtyped. Almost 25% of infections subtyped were non-B, mostly subtypes A, C, and D. Non-B infections were rare in homosexual and bisexual men and in drug injectors. Forty percent of infections in heterosexual men attending genitourinary medicine clinics were non-B subtypes; of these, 25% were subtype A infections and 59% were subtype C infections. For female clinic attendees, 61% were non-B subtype infections, of which 48% were subtype A infections and 42% were subtype C infections. Of the clinic attendees born in the United Kingdom and Europe, 14% of the men and 35% of the women were infected with non-B subtypes. In contrast, 78% of infections in antenatal patients were non-B subtypes, of which 61% were subtype A and 29% were subtype C. Extrapolation to the estimated 29,700 prevalent adult infections in the United Kingdom indicates that approximately 8,100 (27%) such infections are non-B subtypes and that these are found almost entirely in heterosexuals. The findings suggest spread of infection of non-B subtypes to heterosexuals born in the United Kingdom from individuals infected in regions of high prevalence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2001


  • HIV-1 subtypes
  • Heterosexual transmission
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Surveillance


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