Archives of virology 2017 11 08() doi 10.1007/s00705-017-3599-3
Persons in the early stages of HIV infection are the major drivers of new infections. These individuals may also develop renal dysfunctions at this time. Nigeria, as other African countries, has one of the highest prevalence of newly diagnosed HIV infections. Despite this, limited information exists on early HIV detection in the continent. This may be related to difficulties in providing early HIV diagnosis and treatment. Patients referred for malaria testing may provide a unique opportunity for early HIV detection. In this study, a method for identifying early HIV-infected individuals was assessed. HIV-1 subtype and renal function biomarkers were also analyzed in these persons. To identify early HIV infection, over a period of 18 months blood samples were collected from persons referred by clinicians for malaria parasite tests in Nigeria. A total of 671 samples were collected and analyzed for HIV antigen/antibody and subtypes. 101 of these samples were categorized into one of four groups: early HIV, chronic HIV, malaria infection and control groups for renal function analysis. 29% of HIV infected individuals were at the early stages of infection. The predominant subtype detected was CRF02_AG (57.14%). The early HIV group had the highest mean serum creatinine (95 µmol/L) and urea (5.7 mmol/L) values across all groups with the difference significant at P < 0.05. There was no significant difference between the circulating subtype and the stage of HIV infection. Our results show the feasibility of screening persons referred for malaria tests for early HIV. This can be used to control new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa.