A Proportion of Self-Collected Rectal Swabs Yield Human Immunodeficiency Virus Sequences Phylogenetically Related to Those from Plasma Human Immunodeficiency Virus RNA

Hannah Hudson, Richard D'Aquila, Brian Mustanski*, Ethan Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We determined HIV-1 pol gene sequences from self-collected rectal swabs of HIV-positive young men who have sex with men and transgender women. HIV-1 pol was amplified from 39/96 (41%) rectal swabs, including 29/77 (38%) prevalent and 10/19 (53%) incident HIV-1 infections (p < .001). Pol did not amplify from rectal swabs from participants with plasma viral load <1,000 copies/mL. Each rectal swab-derived amplicon consensus sequence was most closely related to the paired plasma virion RNA-derived sequence from the same participant. Results document a rectal mucosal source of HIV-1 in infected persons and suggest usefulness for noninvasive study of biological mechanisms underlying the epidemiologic risk to an insertive partner of HIV-1 acquisition during condomless anal sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-95
Number of pages4
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020



  • HIV
  • mucosal
  • phylogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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