HIV-1 has evolved into an astonishing 48 new strains


Senior Member
England (south coast)
A recent article in the New Scientist says:
"Just a century after making the leap from chimpanzees to humans, HIV-1 has evolved into an astonishing 48 new strains..."
But reading the abstract of the paper in the Lancet, I'm not quite sure if "48 recombinant forms of HIV-1" means that there are 48 'strains' of HIV-1. Can anyone get any clarity on this? I don't have access to the whole article, only the abstract.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Tracking a century of global expansion and evolution of HIV to drive understanding and to combat disease

1 December 2010

The evolution of HIV-1 has been rapid, which has resulted in a complex classification, worldwide spread, and intermixing of strains; at least 48 circulating recombinant forms are currently identified. In addition to posing a nearly insurmountable challenge for diagnosis, treatment, vaccine development, and prevention, this extreme and divergent evolution has led to differences in virulence between HIV-1 groups, subtypes, or both.