The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Dr. Pierone, why did you leave out "E" as one of the M Group subtype infections?

Sep 19, 2003

Dr. Pierone,

Thank you for the invaluable advice you give. I noticed when you answered a question from someone from Cameroon, that you referred to 9 "pure" subtypes of Group M HIV infection - but you left out subtype E. I have read that subtype E is the most prevalent subtype causing infection in Thailand and other parts of South East Asia. It is also present in Africa. Presumably, there must also be some people infected with it in the US.

My question is: why did you exclude subtype E? Is it not a pure subtype? Also, you excluded subtype "I" - is there an I subtype?

One other thing - you pointed out recently that the US ELISA tests are not as good at detecting antibodies to non B subtypes. It would be appreciated if you could mention those tests that are better at detecting all Group M subtypes. With the increase in non B infections in the US, is it not possible to have an HIV test that covers all subtypes so - if one had exposure to a European, African or Latino (or to someone who was themself exposed to someone from one of those places) - one can trust a negative result? While B subtype infection is still the vast majority of infections in the US, many Americans are increasingly exposed to genetic variants through traveling or through exposure to an immigrant (or exposure to someone who had exposure to an infected immigrant or tourist). I think it is a concern if the HIV specialists are not becoming more versed in non B subtypes and if antibody and VL tests are not available to cover all subtypes.

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello, this field moves extremely fast and the nomenclature for subtype classification was recently updated. Subtype E is now CRF01_AE. This means circulating recombinant form that is a mosaic of subtype A and E. So there is no longer a pure subtype E (or I for that matter).

Newer ELISA tests in the U.S. (and Europe) are now much better at detecting non-B subtypes based on methodological improvements so the issue has been addressed and ongoing refinements are being made. Thus, a negative HIV test result is highly predictive of absence of infection, even for exotic travelers. Additionally, the viral load testing for non-B subtypes is available via a number of different techniques now and newer ones are also much more able to measure levels on non-B virus.

back and forth
Follow up on best meds

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint