Summary: Between 1997 and 2001, 1624 Ethiopian factory workers were enrolled in prospective HIV-1 cohorts in Ethiopia, at Akaki and Wonji towns. HIV-1 seroprevalence at intake was 11.8% (Akaki) and 7.1% (Wonji). HIV-1 incidence was .75 per 100 person-years (Akaki) and .35 per 100 person-years (Wonji). During follow up, CD4 T-cell counts remained significantly lower and CD8 T-cell counts significantly higher in Ethiopian seroconverters compared with Dutch seroconverters. Viral loads were lower in Ethiopian seroconverters versus Dutch seroconverters in the first months after seroconversion, subsequently increasing to similar levels. All 20 Ethiopian seroconverters were infected with HIV-1 subtype C (15 with sub-cluster C' and 5 with sub-cluster C). Viral loads were higher in sub-cluster C'-infected Ethiopian seroconverters. One subject demonstrated a window period of at least 204 days, combined with a high preseroconversion viral load and no decline of CD4 T cells over a follow-up period of at least 3 years.
(C) 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.