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Assessing the danger of self-sustained HIV epidemics in heterosexuals by population based phylogenetic cluster analysis.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Turk Teja, Bachmann Nadine, Kadelka Claus, Böni Jürg, Yerly Sabine, Aubert Vincent, Klimkait Thomas, Battegay Manuel, Bernasconi Enos, Calmy Alexandra, Cavassini Matthias, Furrer Hansjakob, Hoffmann Matthias, Günthard Huldrych F, Kouyos Roger D,
Project Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS)
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal eLife
Volume (Issue) 6
Page(s) 1 - 1
Title of proceedings eLife
DOI 10.7554/elife.28721

Open Access

Type of Open Access Website


Assessing the danger of transition of HIV transmission from a concentrated to a generalized epidemic is of major importance for public health. In this study, we develop a phylogeny-based statistical approach to address this question. As a case study, we use this to investigate the trends and determinants of HIV transmission among Swiss heterosexuals. We extract the corresponding transmission clusters from a phylogenetic tree. To capture the incomplete sampling, the delayed introduction of imported infections to Switzerland, and potential factors associated with basic reproductive number R0, we extend the branching process model to infer transmission parameters. Overall, the R0 is estimated to be 0.44 (95%-confidence interval 0.42-0.46) and it is decreasing by 11% per 10 years (4%-17%). Our findings indicate rather diminishing HIV transmission among Swiss heterosexuals far below the epidemic threshold. Generally, our approach allows to assess the danger of self-sustained epidemics from any viral sequence data.