Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Mar 22;102(12):4425-9. Epub 2005 Mar 14.

Genetic analysis reveals the complex structure of HIV-1 transmission within defined risk groups.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Virology, Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, 46 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JF, UK.


We explored the epidemic history of HIV-1 subtype B in the United Kingdom by using statistical methods that infer the population history of pathogens from sampled gene sequence data. Phylogenetic analysis of HIV-1 pol gene sequences from Britain showed at least six large transmission chains, indicating a genetically variable, but epidemiologically homogeneous, epidemic among men having sex with men. Through coalescent-based analysis, we showed that these chains arose through separate introductions of subtype B strains into the United Kingdom in the early to mid-1980s. After an initial period of exponential growth, the rate of spread generally slowed in the early 1990s, which is more likely to correlate with behavior change than with reduced infectiousness resulting from highly active antiretroviral therapy. Our results provide insights into the complexity of HIV-1 epidemics that must be considered when developing HIV monitoring and prevention initiatives.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Secondary Source ID

Publication Types

MeSH Terms

Secondary Source ID

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk