HIV superinfection occurs when an individual with HIV is infected with a new distinct HIV viral strain. Superinfection has been reported throughout the world, and studies have recorded incidence rates of 0-7·7% per year. Use of next-generation sequencing has improved detection of superinfection, which can be transmitted by injecting drug use and sexual intercourse. Superinfection might have incidence rates comparable to those of initial HIV infection. Clinicians should encourage safe sexual and injecting drug use practices for HIV-infected patients because superinfection has detrimental effects on clinical outcomes and could pose a concern for large-scale antiretroviral treatment plans. The occurrence of superinfection has implications for vaccine research, since it seems initial HIV infection is not fully protective against a subsequent infection. Additional collaborative research could benefit care of patients and inform future vaccine design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases