Elucidating the best phylogenetic methods for the characterisation of HIV transmission dynamics in hyperendemic settings

Elucidating the best phylogenetic methods for the characterisation of HIV transmission dynamics in hyperendemic settings

Associated Students: 
Project Level: 
Email Address: 
stellazandi@gmail.com
Phone Number: 
+27 (0) 31 260 4107

Sibisi’s study focuses on the identification of the best phylogenetic methods to describe transmission dynamics in three different key affected populations, namely, young women in South Africa, injectable drug users in Kenya and men who have sex with men in the Dutch Caribbean. The study aims to characterise transmission networks and to determine risk factors for HIV transmission that could be targeted by public health interventions in these critical populations. The analysis will involve dense viral genotyping of these well-defined populations and the application of recent methodological innovations in viral genome sequencing technology with phylogenetic and spatial epidemiology methodologies to understand patterns of HIV transmission, these methods are especially powerful when used with large samples and on whole virus genome sequences of well-characterised cohorts, such as those that will be used in this study.