Erick Ntambwe Kamangu, Berry Ikolango Bongenya, Ben Ilunga Bulanda, Alex Albati Kalume, Pablo Menayaku Mabanza, Richard Lunganza Kalala
Background: Professional Sex Workers (PSW) and their partners are considered as vulnerable populations at high risk of transmission for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as well as infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Objective: The objective of this work was to determine the molecular and virological profile of PSW and their clients at the beginning of Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) followed at the IST Matonge center in the city of Kinshasa.
Methods: Twenty (20) subjects diagnosed HIV-1 positive by serology at IST-Matonge voluntarily participated in this work. This is the PSW and their partners, all aged over 18 and naive ART. Blood samples were collected in 5 ml tubes with EDTA anticoagulant. After extraction of the RNA from the plasma collected using the QIAGEN RNA kit, a Quantitative Real-Time PCR (qPCR) was used for the determination of the Viral Load (VL). Then Reverse Transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) and Nested PCR were used to amplify the regions of interest on Protease and Reverse Transcriptase for subsequent sequencing by the Sanger method.
Results: Twenty (20) patients were included in this work. Forty-five percent (45%) of the patients were women. The median age was 43 years. The median value of the VL of the included patients was 5.53 log10 RNA copies/ml. The dominant subtype in this population was K with 25%.
Conclusion: Professional Sex Workers and their partners remain a population at risk for transmission of HIV infection which has a particular molecular profile and most begin treatment with a poor viral prognosis of treatment.