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The global distribution of HIV-1 subtypes is evolving, which is reflected in the Swedish HIV cohort. The subtype HIV-1A6, which may be prone to developing resistance to cabotegravir, is the most common subtype in Ukraine.


We aimed to examine trends in HIV-1 subtype distribution in Sweden, with a special focus on HIV-1A6, and to describe the virology, demography and treatment of Ukrainian people living with HIV (PLWH) who migrated to Sweden in 2022.


Data about PLWH in Sweden are included in a national database (InfCareHIV). We used the online tool COMET to establish HIV-1 subtypes and the Stanford database to define drug resistance mutations. We investigated the relation between virological characteristics and demographic data.


The early epidemic was predominated by HIV-1 subtype B infections in people born in Sweden. After 1990, the majority of new PLWH in Sweden were PLWH migrating to Sweden, resulting in an increasingly diverse epidemic. In 2022, HIV-1A6 had become the sixth most common subtype in Sweden and 98 of the 431 new PLWH that were registered in Sweden came from Ukraine. We detected HIV RNA in plasma of 32 Ukrainian patients (34%), of whom 17 were previously undiagnosed, 10 had interrupted therapy and five were previously diagnosed but not treated. We found HIV-1A6 in 23 of 24 sequenced patients.


The molecular HIV epidemiology in Sweden continues to diversify and PLWH unaware of their HIV status and predominance of HIV-1A6 should be considered when arranging care directed at PLWH from Ukraine.


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