We tested for HIV in discarded needles and syringe washes from 191 HIV-infected patients receiving injections in rural Cameroon. HIV-1 RNA was amplified from 34 of 103 intravenous injection syringes and two of 88 intramuscular injection syringes. All 36 strains were HIV-1 group M. The majority belonged to the circulating recombinant form CRF02 (IbNg). Our data support a role for unsafe injections in the spread of HIV-1 in Africa, in contrast to recent studies.
aTulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, Louisiana 70433, USA
bDepartment of Tropical Medicine, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA
cMedical Research Station, Kumba, Cameroon, USA
dTheoretical Biology and Biophysics, Group T-10, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA
eAlbert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.
Received 10 November, 2005
Revised 2 February, 2006
Accepted 24 February, 2006
Sponsorship: This work was supported by funds from grant RO1 AI-44596.