Antiretroviral Drug Resistance in HIV Sequences From People Who Inject Drugs and Men Who Have Sex With Men Across 21 Cities in India

Steven J. Clipman, Sunil S. Solomon, Aylur K. Srikrishnan, Allison M. Mcfall, Selvamurthi Gomathi, Shanmugam Saravanan, Santhanam Anand, Canjeevaram K. Vasudevan, Muniratnam S. Kumar, David D. Celentano, Shruti H. Mehta, Gregory M. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Drug resistance testing is limited in public-sector human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care in India, and there are few systematic samplings for prevalent drug resistance mutations (DRMs), particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs (PWID). Methods: We conducted genotypic resistance testing on 915 HIV sequences sampled from viremic self-reported antiretroviral therapy (ART) experienced and naive PWID and MSM recruited from 21 cities across India in 2016-2017. We analyzed factors associated with resistance using logistic regression and evaluated evidence for transmitted resistance using phylogenetic analyses. Results: Of the 915 participants sequenced, median age was 31, 436 were MSM, and 191 were ART experienced. Overall, 62.8% of ART-experienced participants and 14.4% of ART-naive participants were found to have low-level resistance or higher to 1 or more classes of drugs. Prevalence of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate resistance was 25.7% in ART-experienced participants and 1.11% in ART-naive participants. The highest proportion of drug resistance was seen across nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and resistance was significantly more common among MSM participants than PWID. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that 54.6% of ART-naive participants with resistance who clustered had shared DRMs, suggesting transmitted resistance may have occurred. Conclusions: Patients experiencing virologic failure on first-line therapy switched blindly to tenofovir/lamivudine/dolutegravir may effectively be receiving dolutegravir monotherapy due to resistance to tenofovir and lamivudine. While dolutegravir is expected to have full activity in the majority of patients in India, follow-up is needed to understand how resistance may affect long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofac481
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • DRM
  • India
  • LMIC
  • MSM
  • PWID
  • phylogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Infectious Diseases


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