Publications & Reports

The molecular epidemiology of HIV type 1 among Vietnamese Australian injecting drug users in Melbourne, Australia.

Ryan CE, Elliott JH, Middleton T, Mijch AM, Street AC, Hellard M, Crofts N, Crowe SM, Oelrichs RB
The Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Prahran, Victoria, Australia. [email protected]


The proportion of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) among Vietnamese injecting drug users (IDUs) in Melbourne, Australia exceeds that of the background population. To investigate the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 among this group, the C2-V4 region of the HIV-1 envelope was directly sequenced from 11 Vietnamese Australians and 19 non-Vietnamese Australian controls. A significant difference in the distribution of the HIV-1 subtypes was demonstrated, with greater than 50% of Vietnamese Australian IDU shown to be infected with CRF01_AE-the predominant subtype in Southeast Asia, rather than subtype B, which dominates the Australian epidemic and which was found in 89.5% of the non-Vietnamese controls. The genetic diversity of the CRF01_AE epidemic in Vietnamese Australian IDUs was substantially lower that that of the background subtype B, consistent with a more recent introduction of a limited number of viral strains from Vietnam. These results support public health policy targeting Australian IDUs of Vietnamese ethnicity as a distinct vulnerable population.


  • Journal: AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • Published: 01/12/2004
  • Volume: 20
  • Issue: 12
  • Pagination: 1364-1367