Report: Molecular Epidemiology and the Transformation of HIV Prevention

Below is an excerpt from a new article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For many infectious diseases, for example foodborne infections, tuberculosis, and Ebola virus, identifying and controlling outbreaks is a routine component of the public health response. Although this approach has not been a traditional focus of prevention efforts for HIV, outbreaks of HIV occur (as demonstrated by a 2015 outbreak in Scott County, Indiana, with almost 200 cases of HIV infection diagnosed in less than a year).1 Identifying HIV transmission clusters and outbreaks has traditionally been challenging for several reasons, including delays between infection and diagnosis, mobility of populations leading to geographically dispersed transmission clusters, and limitations in identifying sex and drug partners who may be infected.

A new strategy that uses HIV nucleotide sequence data collected through molecular surveillance can help to overcome some of these barriers. In this article, the authors describe this new strategy and discuss the promise it holds for HIV prevention. Read the full article.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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