Journal of Biosciences

, 33:515

HIV infection in India: Epidemiology, molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis

  • Samir Lakhashe
  • Madhuri Thakar
  • Sheela Godbole
  • Srikanth Tripathy
  • Ramesh Paranjape


The year 1986 saw first case of HIV infection as well as first report of AIDS case in India. Since then the epidemic has spread throughout the country. In the recent years there is evidence of epidemic being stabilized with decrease in new infections reported from some parts of the country. The absolute number of HIV infections in the country is expected to be close to 2.5 million and National AIDS Control Programme, phase III is geared to contain the epidemic. HIV viruses circulating in India predominantly belong to HIV-1 subtype C. However, there have been occasional reports of HIV-1 subtype A and B. Matter of concern is reports of A/C and B/C mosaic viruses that are being reported from different parts of the country. The data on HIV drug resistance from India is rather limited. Most of the studies have shown that the virus strains from drug naïve patients do not show significant level of drug resistance mutations. The few immunological studies in Indian patients show that the Indian HIV infected patients show both HIV-specific CTL responses as well as neutralizing antibody response. Mapping of CTL epitopes showed that while Indian patients identify same regions of Gag antigen as recognized by South African subtype C infected patients, some regions are uniquely recognized by Indian patients. There are very few studies on host genetic factors in India in context with HIV infection. However there are evidences reported of association of host genetic factors such as HLA types and haplotypes and HIV disease.


Epidemiology HIV immunology India subtypes 

Abbreviations used


Adenovirus serotype 5


acquired immunodeficiency syndrome


antenatal care


anti-retroviral treatment




bacterial respiratory tract infections


behavioural surveillance surveys


circulating recombinant form


cytotoxic T-lymphocytes


dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3 grabbing non-integrin


enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot


female sex worker


human immunodeficiency virus


human immunodeficiency virus drug resistance


human leucocyte antigen system


integrated behavioural and biological assessment


intra-venous drug user


interferon gamma


long terminal repeats


men having sex with men


National AIDS Control Organization


National Family Health Survey


nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor


non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors


peripheral blood mononuclear cells


protease inhibitors


people living with HIV


reverse transcriptase


sexually transmitted infections


sexually transmitted diseases


targeted intervention


unique recombinant forms


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samir Lakhashe
    • 1
  • Madhuri Thakar
    • 1
  • Sheela Godbole
    • 1
  • Srikanth Tripathy
    • 1
  • Ramesh Paranjape
    • 1
  1. 1.National AIDS Research InstitutePuneIndia

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