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 HIV-infected PWID.
CONCLUSION: We showed that transmissions are more likely among PWID with high viremia.
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
Current HIV Research, 16 (5), 345-353. doi: 10.2174/1570162X17666190130120757. PMCID: PMC6446520.