Higher HIV diversity has been associated with virologic outcomes in children on antiretroviral treatment (ART). We examined the association of HIV diversity with virologic outcomes in adults from the HPTN 052 trial who initiated ART at CD4 cell counts of 350-550 cells/mm3. A high resolution melting (HRM) assay was used to analyze baseline (pre-treatment) HIV diversity in six regions in the HIV genome (two in gag, one in pol, and three in env) from 95 participants who failed ART. We analyzed the association of HIV diversity in each genomic region with baseline (pre-treatment) factors and three clinical outcomes: Time to virologic suppression after ART initiation, time to ART failure, and emergence of HIV drug resistance at ART failure. After correcting for multiple comparisons, we did not find any association of baseline HIV diversity with demographic, laboratory, or clinical characteristics. For the 18 analyses performed for clinical outcomes evaluated, there was only one significant association: Higher baseline HIV diversity in one of the three HIV env regions was associated with longer time to ART failure (p = 0.008). The HRM diversity assay may be useful in future studies exploring the relationship between HIV diversity and clinical outcomes in individuals with HIV infection.
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