Rates of HIV-1 superinfection and primary HIV-1 infection are similar in female sex workers in Uganda

Andrew D. Redd, Deogratius Ssemwanga, Judith Vandepitte, Sarah K. Wendel, Nicaise Ndembi, Justine Bukenya, Susan Nakubulwa, Heiner Grosskurth, Chris M. Parry, Craig Martens, Daniel Bruno, Stephen F. Porcella, Thomas C. Quinn, Pontiano Kaleebu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine and compare the rates of HIV superinfection and primary HIV infection in high-risk female sex workers (FSWs) in Kampala, Uganda. Design: A retrospective analysis of individuals who participated in a clinical cohort study among high-risk FSWs in Kampala, Uganda. Methods: Plasma samples from HIV-infected FSWs in Kampala, Uganda were examined with next-generation sequencing of the p24 and gp41HIV genomic regions for the occurrence of superinfection. Primary HIV incidence was determined from initially HIV-uninfected FSWs from the same cohort, and incidence rate ratios were compared. Results: The rate of superinfection in these women (7/85; 3.4/100 person-years) was not significantly different from the rate of primary infection in the same population (3.7/ 100 person-years; incidence rate ratio = 0.91, P = 0.42). Seven women also entered the study dual-infected (16.5% either dual or superinfected). The women with any presence of dual infection were more likely to report sex work as their only source of income (P = 0.05), and trended to be older and more likely to be widowed (P = 0.07). Conclusions: In this cohort of FSWs, HIV superinfection occurred at a high rate and was similar to that of primary HIV infection. These results differ from a similar study of highrisk female bar workers in Kenya that found the rate of superinfection to be significantly lower than the rate of primary HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2147-2152
Number of pages6
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2014


  • Africa
  • Female sex workers
  • HIV
  • Superinfection
  • Uganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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