BACKGROUND: In North America and Europe, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection has typically been dominated by subtype B transmission. More recently, however, non-B subtypes have been increasingly reported in Europe. METHODS: We analyzed 1158 HIV-1-infected individuals in Greece by DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of protease and partial reverse-transcriptase regions. RESULTS: We found that the prevalence of non-B subtypes has increased over time and that this significant trend can be mainly attributed to subtype A, which eventually surpassed subtype B in prevalence in 2004 (42% and 33%, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that the year of HIV diagnosis was independently associated with subtype A infection (odds ratio for being infected with subtype A for a 10-year increase in the time period of diagnosis, 2.09 [95% confidence interval, 1.36-3.24]; P<.001). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the subtype A epidemic in Greece is the result of a single founder event. The date of the most recent common ancestor of the subtype A in Greece was estimated to be 1977.9 (95% highest posterior density interval, 1973.7-1981.9). CONCLUSIONS: Subtype A circulates among the long-term residents of Greece. This is in contrast to the situation in most European countries, in which infection with non-B genetic forms is associated either with being an immigrant or heterosexual or with intravenous drug use.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of infectious diseases

Publication Date





1167 - 1176


Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, National Retrovirus Reference Center, Athens, Greece.


Multicentre Study on HIV Heterogeneity, Humans, HIV-1, HIV Infections, HIV Protease, Prevalence, Phylogeny, Adult, Middle Aged, Greece, Female, Male, HIV Reverse Transcriptase, Genetic Variation