BACKGROUND: Acquisition of HIV primary drug resistant (PDR) infection can lead to poor virologic and clinical outcomes in individuals and hampers public health efforts in epidemic control. Monitoring PDR in HIV-positive blood donors can be used to inform nationwide trends in the spread of drug-resistant HIV strains.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study using genetic sequence analysis to assess HIV pol sequences, PDR, and risk factors for infection using audio computer-assisted structured interviews in four large blood centers in Brazil from 2007 to 2017.
RESULTS: Of 716 HIV-positive blood donors, 504 (70.4%) were successfully sequenced. HIV clade B (73.2%) was the most prevalent subtype, followed by a mix of non-B (21.2%) sub-types. A twofold increase (from 4% to 8%) in recombinants prevalence was observed during the study period. Sixty-four (12.7%) presented PDR. Overall, HIV PDR prevalence remained stable during the study period. Drug resistance mutations for non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were found in 39 (7.7%) donors, while for nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were found in 26 (5.1%), and for protease inhibitors in 24 (4.8%) of HIV-infected donors. We did not find statistically significant differences in demographics, behavioural risk factors, or HIV genotypes when comparing volunteers with and without PDR.
CONCLUSION: The HIV PDR rate among donors remained stable during the study period. HIV-positive blood donors can be an informative population to monitor primary HIV resistance and ultimately may help to increase the knowledge and awareness of HIV risk factors and PDR.