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Background: Mathematical models predict that community-wide access to HIV testing-and-treatment can rapidly and substantially reduce new HIV infections. Yet several large universal test-and-treat HIV prevention trials in high-prevalence epidemics demonstrated variable reduction in population-level incidence.Methods: To elucidate patterns of HIV spread in universal test-and-treat trials we quantified the contribution of geographic-location, gender, age and randomized-HIV-intervention to HIV transmissions in the 30-community Ya Tsie trial in Botswana. We sequenced HIV viral whole genomes from 5,114 trial participants among the 30 trial communities.Results: Deep-sequence phylogenetic analysis revealed that most inferred HIV transmissions within the trial occurred within the same or between neighboring communities, and between similarly-aged partners. Transmissions into intervention communities from control communities were more common than the reverse post-baseline (30% [12.2 - 56.7] versus 3% [0.1 - 27.3]) than at baseline (7% [1.5 - 25.3] versus 5% [0.9 - 22.9]) compatible with a benefit from treatment-as-prevention.Conclusion: Our findings suggest that population mobility patterns are fundamental to HIV transmission dynamics and to the impact of HIV control strategies.Funding: This study was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (U54GM088558); the Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (D43 TW009610); and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Cooperative agreements U01 GH000447 and U2G GH001911).

Original publication

DOI

10.7554/elife.72657

Type

Journal article

Journal

eLife

Publication Date

03/2022

Volume

11

Addresses

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard University, Boston, United States.

Keywords

Botswana Combination Prevention Project and the PANGEA consortium