Near Full-length Genomic Sequencing and Molecular Analysis of HIV-Infected Individuals in a Network-based Intervention (TRIP) in Athens, Greece: Evidence that Transmissions Occur More Frequently from those with High HIV-RNA
AuthorNikolopoulos, Georgios K.
Williams, Leslie D.
Friedman, Samuel R.
SourceCurrent HIV research
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BACKGROUND: TRIP (Transmission Reduction Intervention Project) was a network-based, contact tracing approach to locate and link to care, mostly people who inject drugs (PWID) with recent HIV infection. OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether sequences from HIV-infected participants with high viral load cluster together more frequently than what is expected by chance. METHODS: Paired end reads were generated for 104 samples using Illumina MiSeq next-generation sequencing. RESULTS: 63 sequences belonged to previously identified local transmission networks of PWID (LTNs) of an HIV outbreak in Athens, Greece. For two HIV-RNA cut-offs (105 and 106 IU/mL), HIV transmissions were more likely between PWID with similar levels of HIV-RNA (p<0.001). 10 of the 14 sequences (71.4%) from PWID with HIV-RNA >106 IU/mL were clustered in 5 pairs. For 4 of these clusters (80%), there was in each one of them at least one sequence from a recently HIVinfected PWID. CONCLUSION: We showed that transmissions are more likely among PWID with high viremia.