Integrating Phylodynamic Techniques for Next-generation HIV Surveillance in Florida


Reducing HIV incidence requires a precision public health approach encompassing prevention campaigns, targeted interventions, and next-generation surveillance through multimodal instruments, including sequencing. Molecular epidemiology methods (phylogenetics and phylodynamics) have recently gained traction for use in identifying and tracking epidemic transmission clusters, as well as reconstructing the demographic history of viral pathogen populations. However, such methods are not equipped to identify both transmission clusters and their corresponding dynamics in real time, and transmission clusters are assumed to be unrealistically static over the course of the epidemic. We will focus on the ongoing HIV epidemic in Florida, which has one of the highest HIV incidence rates in the United States. Although key HIV transmission risk groups have been identified in Florida through classical epidemiology surveillance methods, there remains a critical need for detection and tracking of expanding transmission clusters in near-real time.

Objective: We aim to 1) develop and implement a novel theoretical and technical framework able to dynamically model HIV transmission clusters in near-real time; 2) validate the model with real data; and 3) host focus groups with governmental stakeholders to identify optimal strategies for precision public health interventions.

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Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2019

June 18, 2019

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